Intonational Patterns of Focus Preposing Constructions in Hijazi Arabic
Alzaidi, Muhammad . 2018
This study has two aims. First, it introduces an under-studied construction in Hijazi Arabic (HA) and investigates its intonational, semantic, pragmatic, syntactic, and information structure properties. This construction is termed as focus preposing. It is a non-canonicalsyntactic option used to express a specific aspect of informationstructure such as contrastive focus (e.g., Moutaouakil, 1989). Second, it aims to investigate whether a focus preposing in HA is associated with a particular intonational tune. To fullfill this aim, 480 declarativeswere constructed. These sentences were elicited from sixteen native speakers of Hijazi Arabic. These sentences were embedded in question-answered paradigms to evoke contrastive focus on the preposed item realized at the left periphery of the HA clause. The intonational structure of this construction shows to have a nuclear pitch accent [L+H*] placed on the stressed syllable of left-realized word, followed by post-focus compression till the end of the structure. This finding provides evidence for Liberman & Sag; Marandin’s (1974; 2006) claim that the tune determines the meanings.