Syllables and Moras in Arabic

Abstract
Some of the most salient differences among Arabic vernaculars have to do with syllable structure. This study focuses on the syllabification patterns of three dialect groups, (1) VC-dialects, (2) C-dialects, and (3) CV-dialects,1 and argues that they differ in the licencing of SEMISYLLA- BLES, moras unaffiliated with syllables and adjoined to higher prosodic constituents. The analysis provides some evidence for a constraint-based version of Lexical Phonology, which treats word phonology and sentence phonology as distinct constraint systems which interact in serial fashion.
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