Kurdish Adaptation of Arabic Loan Consonants A Feature Driven Model of Loan Adaptation

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Twana S. Hamid


This paper addresses the status of the Arabic loan consonants in Central Kurdish (CK). Based on the Arabic loanwords, it assesses different scenarios on how the foreign consonants are adapted. The paper finds out that Arabic loan consonants in CK can be classified into three groups: Consonants that are part of the phonemic inventory of both languages; consonants that are borrowed faithfully, i.e. without adaptation and finally consonants that are not allowed in the phonemic inventory of CK, i.e. require feature adaptation. The paper also makes contribution to the theories of loan adaptation. It shows that neither Phonological Stance Model nor Phonetic Stance Model can account for the way Arabic consonants are (un)adapted in CK. The faithful borrowing of guttural consonants and the adaptation of dental fricatives and emphatics to match the phonemic inventory of CK shows that there are active marking statements that (dis)allow a combination of features that form a segment. Some other factors also play roles in the faithful borrowing of the loan consonants such as frequency of the loanwords with loan phonemes, orthographic input and the sensitivity of the faithful pronunciation of the loanwords such as the loanwords that are proper names. Common proper names with guttural phonemes are borrowed faithfully.


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Hamid, T. S. (2021) “Kurdish Adaptation of Arabic Loan Consonants: A Feature Driven Model of Loan Adaptation”, Koya University Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences, 4(1), pp. 129-136. doi: 10.14500/kujhss.v4n1y2021.pp129-136.
Author Biography

Twana S. Hamid, Department of English language, College of Languages, University of Sulaimani, Kurdistan Region, Iraq

Twana S. Hamid is a Lecturer of Linguistics & English Language at the Department of English Language, University of Sulaimani. He gained his B.A. in English language and Literature from University of Sulaimani in 2001. He has several years of teaching English before gaining his M.A. in English language and Applied Linguistics from University of Sulaimani in 2008. After several years of Teaching phonology in various English Departments in Sulaimani, he started his Doctorate studies at Newcastle University, UK. Dr. Twana studied Phonetics and Phonology intensively before writing his Ph.D. thesis on central Kurdish Prosodic structure.


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