Default Diminutives: Evidence from Modern Standard Arabic

Alshboul, Sabri; Asassfeh, Sahail M.; shaboul, Yousef Al
January 2013
Journal of Language Teaching & Research;Jan2013, Vol. 4 Issue 1, p21
Academic Journal
Different approaches to inflectional morphology converge on the notion that default inflection is computed through a combinatorial mechanism. The current study explores the mechanism of defaultness which makes an inquiry for the emergence of the diminutive plural inflection as a default form taking the suffix -aat in Modern Standard Arabic (MSA). The findings of this study showed that there is a role displayed by the "canonical root" in the formation of this default form thus the wide application of the default inflection results from the fact that the default inflection applies to mental variables which are abstract labels 'VERB or NOUN' (Berent 1999, Kim et al 1991, 1994 and Marcus et al 1995). Further, this study replicated previous studies on English and Hebrew (Berent: 1999) in maintaining the insensitivity of defaultness to similarity effects.


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