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Volume :11 Issue : 43 1993      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

An Acoustic Study of Fricative-to-Vowel Coarticulation in Arabic

Auther : Abdulla Ahmed Al-Bannai

This study examines the carryover coarticulatory effects of consonantal context upon the acoustic characteristics of vowels in Arabic. Five speakers read a list of 65 cv:c syllables containing various Initial fricatives, five long vowels, and either final voiceless or voiced alveolar stop consonants. Formant frequency analysis has shown that fricative consonants induced significant coarticulatory effects on the F2 steady state frequency of the vowels but no significant difference in Fl steady state frequency has been observed. Moreover, the F2 transitions show large amount of variation as an influence of fricative context but the degree of transition variation varies significantly as a function of fricative place of articulation. The degree of fricative-to-vowel coarticulation appears to be related to the amount of articulatory constraint on the tongue activity during the production of fricative consonant. Thus the large amount of F2 transition may reflect the antagonistic demand on the articulatory movements during the production of fricative-to-vowel sequence as in emphatic or pharyngeal fricatives and front high vowels combinations, whereas the relatively small amount of F2 transition may reflect the complementary demand on the articulatory movements as in the sequence of alveolar or palatal fricatives and front high vowels. The insignificant F2 transition variation in the sequence of labiodental or glottal fricative and vowels may be interpreted to mean neutral demand on the articulatory movements.

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