Main Article Content


This study deals with the syllable structure of Hajji Yemeni Arabic (HYA) in the light of Generative Phonology. Hajji Yemeni Arabic is a variation of Arabic spoken in the northwestern part of Yemen, which tries to elaborate and discuss the elements of syllable structure and possibilities of patterns of syllables in a term of consonants and vowels. The main aim of this study is to investigate the syllabification patterns of Hajji Yemeni Arabic, hereafter referred to as (HYA). Through qualitative phenomenology, this study analyzed the different syllabification patterns attested in Hajji Yemeni Arabic and a comprehensive analysis of the syllable shape within the framework of Generative Phonology. The findings of the study; Hajji Yemeni Arabic has five patterns of syllables: (monosyllabic, disyllabic, trisyllabic, tetrasyllabic and pentasyllabic). Hajji Yemeni Arabic prohibits initial consonant clusters, but consonant clusters are permitted in the coda position, and the maximum number of permitted consonants is two only. No vowel occurs word-initially, and every syllable must begin with one and only one consonant sound (simple onset).  Hajji Yemeni Arabic has two kinds of syllables: open syllables, as in the syllable shapes /CV/ and /CV:/, while closed syllables, as in the syllable shapes /CVC/, /CV:CC/, /CV:C/ and /CVCC/.


Generative Phonology (GP) Hajji Yemeni Arabic (HYA) Syllable Structure

Article Details

How to Cite
Jubran AL-Mamri, M. (2023). A Generative Phonology: Syllable Structure of Hajji Yemeni Arabic. JL3T (Journal of Linguistics, Literature and Language Teaching), 9(2), 106-124.


  1. Al-ani, S, and & May, D (1973). The Phonological Structure of the syllable in Arabic. In Salman
  2. AL-Mamri, M, and Shabana H. (2017). Consonant cluster and syllable structure in Mehri language. International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications, 7(2): 242-248.
  3. Al-Qahtani, Mufleh. (2014). Syllable structure and related processes in optimality theory: An examination of Najdi Arabic. PhD thesis. Newcastle University.
  4. Archibald, J. (2003). “Learning to parse second language consonant clusters” .Canadian Journal. Carter, M.G. 2004. Sibawayhi. London: Tauris.
  5. Chomsky, N., & Halle, M. (1968). The sound pattern of English.
  6. Clements, G. N. (1990). The role of the sonority cycle in core syllabification. Papers in laboratory phonology, 283-333.
  7. Conway, S. J., Bundy, J., Chen, J., Dickman, E., Rogers, R., & Will, B. M. (2000). Decreased neural crest stem cell expansion is responsible for the conotruncal heart defects within the Splotch (Sp2H)/Pax3 mouse mutant. Cardiovascular research, 47(2), 314-328.
  8. Crystal, D. (1997). ‘Dictionary of linguistics and phonetics’. .Malden, Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishers Inc.
  9. Davis. S. (1998). ‘Syllable Onsets as aFactor in Stress Rules. Phonology’. 5.1-19.
  10. Gadoua, A.H. (2000). “Consonant clusters in Quranic Arabic”. Cahiers Linguistiques d’Ottawa 28. 59–85.
  11. Goldsmith, J. (1976), Autosegmental Phonology. Ph.D. dissertation, MIT. (Published by Garland Press, New York.
  12. Yule, G. (2006). Pragmatik. Pustaka Pelajar.
  13. Halpern, J. (2009). Word stress and vowel neutralization in modern standard arabic. Unpublished manuscript, Department of Linguistics, The CJK Dictionary Institute, Saitama, Japan. Retrieved from
  14. Hayes, B. (1986). Inalterability in CV Phonology. Language 62, 321-351.
  15. Hockett, C. F. (1955). Attribution and apposition. American speech, 30(2), 99-102.
  16. Hooper, J. (1972). An Introduction to Natural Generative Phonology. New York Academic Press.
  17. Jarrah, A. (1993). The Phonology of Madina Hijazi Arabic: A Non-Linear Analysis. Ph.D. Thesis, Essex University.
  18. Jones, D. (1967) An Outline of English Phonetics. Cambridge: CUP.
  19. Katamba, F. (1989). An Introduction To Phonology. London: Longman.
  20. Kiparsky, Paul (2003) Syllables and Moras in Arabic. Stanford University.
  21. Kuiper, Koeuroad (1987) An Introduction to English language, England: Cambridge University press.
  22. Ladefoged, P. (1975) A Course in Phonetics. New York: Harcourt Brace.
  23. Levin, J. (1985). A Metrical Theory of Syllabicity. Ph.D. dissertation, MIT, Massachusetts.
  24. McCarthy, J. (1979). Formal Problems in Semitic Phonology and Morphology. Ph.D. dissertation, MIT, Distribute by Indiana University Linguistic Club.
  25. McCarthy, J & A. Prince. (1993). Prosodic Morphology I: Constraint Interaction and Satisfaction. RuCCS-3, Rutgers University.
  26. McCarthy, J & A. Prince. (1993). Generalized Alignment. Yearbook of Morphology 1993, 79-153.Dordrecht: Kluwer.
  27. Pike, K. L. (1967). Etic and emic standpoints for the description of behavior.
  28. Roach, P. (1994) English Phonetics and Phonology: A Practical Course. Cambridge: CUP.
  29. Rogoff, B., Baker‐Sennett, J., Lacasa, P., & Goldsmith, D. (1995). Development through participation in sociocultural activity. New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development, 1995(67), 45-65.
  30. Sameer, Abdulrazzaq. (2011). Syllable structure of Taizi Yemeni dialect of Arabic: An optimality theory perspective. MA dissertation. School of Language Science, the English and Foreign Languages University (EFL-U), Hyderabad, India.
  31. Schane, S. A. (1973) Generative Phonology. New Jersey: Prentice- Hall, Inc.
  32. Singh, S. and K. Singh (1977) Phonetics: Principles and Practices. Baltmore: University Park Press.
  33. Steriade, D. (1982). Greek Prosodies and the Nature of Syllabification. Ph.D. Dissertation. MIT.
  34. Umer, A.Mukhtar (1976) Dirasat –l Sawut Al-Lughawi [A Study of the Linguistic Sound]. Cairo: Alam Alkutub.
  35. Watson, Janet C. E. (2007), Syllabification patterns in Arabic dialects: long segments and mora sharing, University of Salford: Cambridge University Press.