SRPP: Long-distance coarticulation in Arabic: Vowels, pharyngealization and gemination

Michael A. Grosvald (Qatar University)
29 October 2021, 14h0015h30

This study investigated anticipatory vowel-to-vowel coarticulation in Arabic, and sought to determine the degree to which it is affected by the pharyngealization and length of intervening consonants. Speakers of Egyptian Arabic were recorded saying sentences containing nonsense sequences of the form /baɁabaCV:/, where C was chosen from {/t/, /tˤ/, /t:/, /tˤ:/} and V was a long vowel /i:/, /a:/ or /u:/. Analysis of the first and second formants of the recorded vowels revealed that (a) vowel-to-vowel coarticulatory effects could sometimes extend to a distance of three vowels before the context vowel; (b) the consonant-to-vowel effects associated with pharyngealization were consistently seen at similar distances, while also decreasing in magnitude at greater distances from the triggering consonant; and (c) effects related to intervening consonant length were idiosyncratic, and in particular did not lead to consistent blocking of vowel-to-vowel effects. In contrast, one speaker showed significant vowel-to-vowel effects at all three measured distances that were effectively blocked in the pharyngealized consonant condition.


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