Epenthesis and vowel intrusion in Central Dhofari Mehri


The paper discusses epenthesis and vowel intrusion in the Central Dhofari variety of Mehri, one of six endangered Modern South Arabian languages indigenous to southern Arabia. Mehri is spoken by members of the Mahrah tribe in southern Oman, eastern Yemen, parts of southern and eastern Saudi Arabia and in communities in parts of the Gulf and East Africa. The estimated number of Mehri speakers is between 100,000–180,000. Following Hall (2006), this study distinguishes between two types of inserted vowels: epenthetic vowels, which repair illicit syllable structures, and intrusive vowels, which transition between consonants. The paper examines how the properties of epenthetic and intrusive vowels as proposed by Hall relate to Mehri.

Journal of Semitic Studies 69(1), 521–576
Gisela Tomé Lourido
Gisela Tomé Lourido
Lecturer in Sociophonetics

Gisela Tomé Lourido is a Lecturer in Sociophonetics in the Linguistics and Phonetics department at the University of Leeds.