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Prosodic Prominence in jordanian Arabic

Abstract

This paper is an attempt to project the Optimality Theory of phonology on the facts of stress assignment in Jordanian Arabic. After presenting these facts, I argue that accounts of these facts in previous approaches face serious problems, especially when such accounts are viewed in light of recent findings questioning the viability of such major tenets of earlier approaches as the concept of rule, extrametricality, and cyclic application of rules. I argue further that the Optimality Theorty framework allows one to provide a simple and natural explanation for the stress assignment rules by using a hierarchy of a small number of universal and language specific constraints. The conclusion I draw in this paper is that the Optimality Theory framework stands as a better alternative for phonological analysis than previous frameworks such as Metrical Phonology.