The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

MorPhun 10/9 - Nabila Louriz (Hassan II, Casablanca) and Michael Kenstowicz (MIT)

Speaker: Nabila Louriz (Hassan II, Casablanca) and Michael Kenstowicz (MIT)
Title: Verb formation in French loanwords in Moroccan Arabic
Time: Wednesday, October 9th, 5pm – 6:30pm
Location: 32-D831

Abstract: This presentation deals with verb formation of borrowings from French into Moroccan Arabic. The purpose is to examine the way the morphology of a Semitic language operates on loanwords from a Romance language. Two categories of borrowed verbs are distinguished in the corpus under investigation. First, there are verbs that are directly borrowed from French verbs (e.g. Fr. caler> MA [kala] “to stall”). The second category includes denominal verbs (e.g. Fr. Joint> MA [ʒwan] “joint”> [ʒwana] “to join”, Fr. cravatte> MA [gRafaTa] “tie”> [gəRfəT] “to wear a tie”). The first and second examples seem to operate on the base form of the French verbs and the borrowed noun, respectively. On the other hand, the third example appears to operate on the consonantal root extracted from the borrowed noun. This paper will explain this asymmetry and attempts a unified account highlighting the interface of morphology and phonology in the formation of loan verbs.