Journal Article

The Pausal Phrase in Tiberian Aramaic and the Reflexes of <sup>*</sup><i>I</i>*

Vincent DeCaen

in Journal of Semitic Studies

Published on behalf of University of Manchester

Volume 49, issue 2, pages 215-224
Published in print January 2004 | ISSN: 0022-4480
Published online January 2004 | e-ISSN: 1477-8556 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jss/49.2.215
The Pausal Phrase in Tiberian Aramaic and the Reflexes of *I*

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The expected reflex of short *i in Tiberian phonology is [e], when bearing an accent; however, in Tiberian Aramaic a second, more conservative reflex [i] often obtains. Bauer and Leander (1927) draw attention to the phenomenon in a general discussion of pause. They offer a weak generalization, noting that when [i] does appear, it appearsin pause; but their observations do not amount to an explanation. This study rejects free variation, and proceeds as if the alternation is rule-governed. Methodological controls limit the database initially to 49 tokens. The conclusion is that there is in fact a configurational, prosodic distinction, and the prosodic constituent ‘pausal phrase’ is consequently posited as the explanation.

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Subjects: Middle Eastern History ; Middle Eastern Languages ; Literary Studies - World ; Biblical Studies

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