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Nouns and adjectives of the shape C1V́C2(ə)C3(-) in Jibbali (Śħri) and Mehri

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Jibbali and Mehri nouns and adjectives of the form C 1 V́C 2 (ə)C 3 (-) exhibit various vowels in stressed V1 position, whereas it is not always clear whether a phonological /ə/ must be posited in post-tonic V2. This article investigates the patterns underlying such items. It appears that in both languages the presence of a /ə/ in V2 is fundamentally determined by the pattern (some patterns implying /ə/ and others ∅), although the presence of a sonorant as the third root consonant conditions the presence of a /ə/ in actual lexemes whatever the pattern. This together with other phonological processes creates, especially in Mehri, complicated cross-matches between the underlying patterns and the attested realisations. Their identification sheds light on the morphological correspondences between Mehri and Jibbali. It is finally argued that patterns of the C 1 V́C 2 C 3 type go back to Proto-Semitic patterns in *C1VC2C3, whereas most patterns of the C 1 V́C 2 əC 3 type go back to *C1ā̆C2ī̆C3.

Affiliations: 1: Université de Strasbourg


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