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Phonological Merger

(1,574 words)

Author(s): Enam Al-Wer
Phonological merger may be defined as a structural change in the sound system of a language by which previously distinct phonemes become one phoneme. Therefore, merger results in the elimination of distinctions, the reduction of distinctive word classes (or lexical sets), and the loss of information. Mergers are very common in human languages, and more common than their counterpart processes which preserve distinctions (e.g. chain shifts) or create distinctions (e.g. phonological splits). An acc…
Date: 2018-04-01

Jordanian Arabic (Amman)

(7,073 words)

Author(s): Enam Al-Wer
Jordan is the southernmost country of Bilād aš-Šam, and, like the other countries in the region, it came to exist as a separate political entity after the dismantlement of the Ottoman Empire. This part of the region had been the poorest in terms of natural and human resources, and it lacked large urban centers that could act as cultural and linguistic focal points for the local population. Throughout the first half of the 20th century, Jordanians looked outside their country's borders to cities such as…
Date: 2018-10-27

Variation

(6,858 words)

Author(s): Enam Al-Wer
1. Introduction The study of linguistic variation is based on two maxims: i.Variation is an inherent characteristic of every living human language. This means that in every language there is more than one way of saying the same thing, and no individual speaks in exactly the same manner all the time and in all situations. In evolutionary terms, the very fact that variation in human languages has always existed implies that it is somehow conducive to human life. We can at least demonstrate that the ability to…
Date: 2018-04-01

Phonological Split

(1,330 words)

Author(s): Enam Al-Wer
Phonological split is a sound change that leads to additions or alterations in the system of distinctions. In this process, one phoneme divides into two phonemes, which is precisely the opposite of phonological merger. Strictly speaking, splits are the result of the phonemicization of preexisting allophonic variations in the system. It is this type of split which is usually referred to in the study of sound change. The term ‘ split’ is sometimes also used in cases where no clear phonemic distinction occurs, i.e. where the phonological structure of the language is …
Date: 2018-04-01