8. Variable cues to phrasing: finding edges in Egyptian Arabic
University of York
This paper explores variation in the tonal cues to prosodic phrasing observed in a corpus of read speech sentences in Egyptian Arabic (EA). There is variation between speakers in the cues employed to mark instances of the same type (or level) of prosodic juncture in the same position in the sentence, and there is also (what proves to be principled) variation in the types of cues employed at distinct instances of (what are expected to be) the same type/level of juncture occurring at different positions in syntactic structure. This paper seeks first to establish what the cues to Major Phonological Phrase (MaP)level phrasing are in EA, amid all this variation, and, as a secondary goal, to determine whether there is MaP-level marking of ‘XP-edges’ in EA. The rationale for this secondary question is to find out whether or not EA presents a challenge to edge-based mapping algorithms (Selkirk, 1986, 1995, 2000; Truckenbrodt, 1999), and their phase-based equivalents (Kratzer and Selkirk, 2007).