An Architecture of the Lexicon: New Perspectives

Sabri Alshboul, Yousef Al shaboul, Suhail M.Asassfeh


Most approaches to inflectional morphology propose a synchronic account for the establishment of defaultness in the plural inflection. The current research aims at exploring the representation of the default system in JA at a diachronic level. The grammar of JA displays two default plural forms: the sound feminine plural marked with the suffix –aat (e.g.mataar/matar-aat 'an airport/airports') where a suffixation rule predicts the occurrence of the default plural. The second default plural is the iambic broken plural marked with an internal vowel change (short–long vowel) (kursi/karaasi 'a seat /seats'). Our diachronic analysis would take into account the default shift that occurred in the grammar of JA in two different periods: the Turkish period and the British period. The findings reveal the importance of the diachronic factors in determining the status of ‘defaultness’ in terms of the ability of the lexicon to accept two default inflections. So, JA consists a hierarchy that contains two defaults: the iambic broken plural and the sound feminine plural. This mechanism of accepting two defaults gives insights into applying this multiple default format crosslinguistically in which a grammar of a language can host a multiple default system.
Key words: Defaultness; Jordanian Arabic; Diachronic Default; Sound Feminine; Plural; Iambic Broken Plural


Defaultness; Jordanian Arabic; Diachronic Default; Sound Feminine; Plural; Iambic Broken Plural


Ababneh, J, Prokosch, E. (1997). Ottoman loanwords in Jordanian Arabic. Grazer Linguistische Studien, 48, 1-7.

Berent, I., Pinker, S., & Shimron, J. (1999). Default nominal inflection in Hebrew: Evidence for mental variables. Cognition, 72, 1-44.

Butros, Albert J. (1963). English loanwords in the colloquial Arabic of Palestine (1917-1948) and Jordan (1948-1962). PhD. Dissertation. Columbia University. 88-228.

Bybee, J. (1985). Morphology a study of the relation between meaning and form. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Bybee, J. (1995). Regular morphology and the lexicon. Language and Cognitive Processes, 10, 425-455.

Bybee, J. (1999). Use impacts morphological representation. Behavioural and Brain Sciences, 22, 1016-1017.

Bybee, J., & Moder, C. (1983). Morphological classes as natural categories. Language, 59, 251-270.

Clahsen, H., Rothweiler, M., Woest, A., Marcus, G., 1992. Regular and irregular Inflection in the acquisition of German noun plurals. Cognition, 45, 225– 255.

Clahsen, H. 1999. Lexical entries and rules of language: A multi-disciplinary study of German inflection. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 22, 991-1060.

Clahsen, H., Eisenbeiss, S. & Sonnenstuhl, I. (1997). Morphological structure and the processing of inflected words. Theoretical Linguistics, 23, 201-249.

Farghal,M.,Al-Khatib, M.,(1999). English borrowings in Jordanian Arabic: Distributins, functions and attitudes. Graze Linguistische Studien, 52, 1-18.

Halle, M., Marantz, A., (1993). Distributed morphology and the pieces of Inflection. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Holes, C. (1995). Modern Arabic. London: Longman.

Berent, I., Pinker, S., & Shimron, J. (1999). Default nominal inflection in Hebrew: Evidence for mental variables. Cognition, 72, 1-44.

Brian D. Joseph. (1998). Diachronic Morphology in: The Handbook of Morphology by Andrew Spencer and Arnold M. Zwicky: Blackwell Publisher.

Marcus, G. F., Pinker, S., Ullman, M., Hollander, M., Rosen, T. & Xu, F. (1992). Overregularization in language acquisition. Monographs of the society for research in child development, Serial no. 228, 57.

Marcus, G., Brinkmann, U., Clahsen. H., Wiese, R., & Pinker, S. (1995). German inflection: The exception that proves the rule. Cognitive Psychology, 29, 189– 256.

Marcus, G., 1998a. Can connectionism save constructivism? Cognition, 66, 153–182.

Marcus, G., 1998b. Rethinking eliminative connectionism. Cognitive Psychology, (3), 243–282.

Plunkett, K., Marchman, V., (1991). From rote learning to system building: Quiring verb morphology in children and connectionist nets. Cognition, 48, 21–69.

Plunkett, K., Marchman, R., (1993). From rote learning to system building: Acquiring verb morphology in children and connectionist nets. Cognition, 48, 21–69.

Plunkett, K., Nakisa, C., (1997). A connectionist model of Arabic plural system. Language and Cognitive Processes, 12, 807– 836.

Prasada, S., & Pinker, S. (1993). Generalisation of regular and irregular Morphological patterns. Language and Cognitive Processes, 8, 1–56.

Ratcliffe, R. (1998). The ‘‘broken’’ plural problem in Arabic and comparative Semitic: Allomorphy and analogy in non- concatenative morphology. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Ravid, D., & Farah, R. (1999). Learning about noun plurals in early Palestinian Arabic. First Language, 19, 187–206.

Ravid, D. et al. Core morphology in child directed speech: Crosslinguistic

corpus analyses of noun plurals. In: Behrens, Heike, (Ed.) Corpora in language acquisition research. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamin Publishing Company

Rumelhart, D.E., McClelland, J.L., (1986). On learning the past tense of English verbs: Implicit rules or parallel distributed processing? In: McClelland, J.L., Rumelhart, D.E., The PDP Research Group (Eds.), Parallel distributed processing: Explorations in the microstructure of cognition (Vol. 2).

Rumelhart & J. McClelland (Eds.), Parallel distributed processing (vol. 2). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Say, T. & Clahsen, H. (2002). Words, rules and stems in the Italian mental lexicon. In S. Nooteboom, F. Weerman &F. Wijnen (Eds.), Storage and computation in the language faculty. Kluwer.

Suleiman.S. (1985). Jordanian Arabic between diglossia and bilingualism. Amsterdam: Johna Benjamin Publishing Company.

Wright, W. (1995). A grammar of the Arabic language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Zwicky, A. (1986) .The general case: basic form versus default form. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistic Society, 12, 305-314.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c)

Share us to:   


Online Submission


How to do online submission to another Journal?

If you have already registered in Journal A, then how can you submit another article to Journal B? It takes two steps to make it happen:

1. Register yourself in Journal B as an Author

Find the journal you want to submit to in CATEGORIES, click on “VIEW JOURNAL”, “Online Submissions”, “GO TO LOGIN” and “Edit My Profile”. Check “Author” on the “Edit Profile” page, then “Save”.

2. Submission

Go to “User Home”, and click on “Author” under the name of Journal B. You may start a New Submission by clicking on “CLICK HERE”.

We only use three mailboxes as follows to deal with issues about paper acceptance, payment and submission of electronic versions of our journals to databases:;;

 Articles published in Studies in Literature and Language are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 (CC-BY).


Address: 1055 Rue Lucien-L'Allier, Unit #772, Montreal, QC H3G 3C4, Canada.
Telephone: 1-514-558 6138 
Website: Http://; Http://;;

Copyright © 2010 Canadian Academy of Oriental and Occidental Culture