Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Applied Linguistics

First Advisor

Berry, James


Unlike in Classical Arabic, this study hypothesized that word-initial consonant clusters exist in Najdi Arabic as a result of first vowel deletion. The goal of this study was to investigate the word-initial consonant cluster patterns of Najdi Arabic and measure the sonority scale of this particular position. Ten native Najdi Arabic speakers were asked to pronounce 24 words and 24 sentences that contained all the possible consonant cluster patterns that could occur in Najdi Arabic. The output of the subjects revealed that Najdi Arabic does have initial consonant clusters in certain environments and that the minimum sonority distance was one step between the first and second onsets. The study found that the sonority distance between the first and second onsets plays a role in forming initial consonant clusters in Najdi. Additionally, the existence of less-marked consonant clusters was found to be more frequent than the more marked ones. Finally, the study proposed examining the pattern of the deleted vowel in future studies to determine whether it plays a role in the results.




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