Analyzing the Pronunciation of Two Persian Homofunction-homogragh Conjunctions in Various Environments

Document Type : Research Paper


Associate Professor, Department of English, Shahrekord University, Shahrekord, Iran.


Persian uses [o] and [va] as two conjunctions, both of which mean ‘and’. Interestingly, both are represented by the grapheme <و> in the Persian orthography. Accordingly, they are considered homofunction-homogragh conjunctions in the present research. The morpheme [o] is an enclitic that has reached the Modern Persian from the past after undergoing some phonological and categorical changes. The morpheme [va] is an Arabic loanword. The main reason for borrowing it from Arabic was to compensate for the impossibility of applying [o] in an environment where there is no host for [o] to attach to, or there is a pause between the host and [o]. Moreover, a speaker can produce [o] or [va] if he chooses not to pause after producing a word. This research aimed at analyzing the pronunciation of these conjunctions in various phonological environments applying optimality theory (Prince  & Smolensky, 1993/2004). In so doing, the constraints whose interactions within the rankings determine the pronunciation of these conjunctions are discussed. As the results regarding the enclitic conjunction [o] indicate, in case the first part of the parallel structure ends in a consonant, it will undergo resyllabification. However, if the first part of the parallel structure ends in a vowel, an intervocalic consonant will be inserted between it and the enclitic [o] to resolve hiatus. More specifically, if the first part of the parallel structure ends in one of the vowels [i], [u] or [o], the intervocalic consonant will share the same feature with them. But as other Persian vowels [e], [a] or [A] do not share a significant feature with Persian common intervocalic consonants, the intervocalic consonant will share the same feature with the enclitic [o]. Finally, when the conjunction /va/ conjoins a word starting with a long vowel, a ranking which contains a specific type of MAX constraint resolves hiatus by deleting /a/ and preserving the long vowel.


Main Subjects

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Volume 12, Issue 1
July 2021
Pages 49-70
  • Receive Date: 06 February 2021
  • Revise Date: 28 July 2021
  • Accept Date: 17 July 2021
  • First Publish Date: 17 July 2021