An Optimality Theoretic Account of Vb Infixed Plurals in Jebbāli


  • Khalsa Al Aghbari University of Florida and Sultan Qaboos University


One of the most systematic mechanisms of expressing 'noun plurality' in Jebbāli is Vb infixation. The Vb infix aligns to the left edge of noun plurals; it specifically occupies the second syllable of these forms. Using Optimality Theory, I assume that an alignment constraint (ALIGNVb- L) governs the locus of the Vb infix. I further illustrate that this constraint is dominated by the language requirement to make the right and left edges of the singulars and plurals stand in correspondence. Moreover, I prove that Jebbāli restricts the size of the infix to be no longer than a single syllable. This restriction is encoded in the constraint AFFIX ≤ SYLLABLE (Crowhurst 2004:129) which stipulates that "the phonological exponent of an affix is not larger than a syllable." This will prove important to the given analysis.