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Essays in Arabic Dialectology


Noureddine Guella

This volume brings together a number of previously published papers, which reflect a middle-of-the-road approach in Linguistic Analysis. The first part contains articles dealing with major grammatical techniques and strategies in Arabic dialects: articles on syllabication, stress and intonation in an urban Arabic dialect as well as on lexical borrowing. The second part deals with linguistic substitution as verbal dynamism, and with riddles and riddling in an Algerian context.
Ce volume est un ensemble des articles déjà publiés dans le domaine de l’analyse linguistique. La méthodologie suivie est structural-fonctionnaliste. La première partie contient deux articles traitant de sujets de dialectologie arabe, entre autres l’utilisation des marqueurs de la possession dans des dialectes arabes du Maghreb et de la Péninsule Arabique, les diverses structures syllabiques, l’accent et les contours d’intonation dans un dialecte arabe urbain. La deuxième partie s’occupe des énigmes en contexte algérien et deux autres articles sur la suppléance linguistique en arabe dialectal.
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On syllabication, stress and intonation in an urban Arabic dialect



Abstract. This paper sets out to describe some of the most salient features that characterize an urban Arabic dialect in the related areas of syllabication, stress and intonation. In syllabication, it shows that the dialect has retained most of the classical syllable structures. In contrast, it shows at least one important alternation of syllable constitution unknown in the classical prototype. In the section devoted to stress, the major stress patterns and rules governing the dialect are briefly exhibited and exemplified. Finally, the section on intonation offers a comparative approach of the intonation contours of various utterances and shows the function of these intonation patterns.


This study is based largely on a linguistic investigation of the Algerian Arabic dialect of Nédroma, a pre-colonial urban town situated in the northwestern part of Algeria, not very far from Tlemcen, with whose dialect it shares most of the described features. The study is meant to provide a good deal of genuine data for comparative studies in the field of Arabic dialectology, and will certainly contribute to the making of the long-awaited linguistic atlas for the Arab world.

The symbols used here are largely those provided by the International Phonetic Alphabet, although for typological reasons other symbols are resorted to. For example, the emphatic consonants will be represented by capital letters. The short, central vowel often referred to as ‘schwa’, and much in use in many dialectal descriptions, is here replaced by [^] to render a...

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