An acoustic phonetic study of quantity and quantity complementarity in Swedish and Iraqi Arabic

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This study presents acoustic durational measurements of vowel and consonant sequences from two speakers of Iraqi Arabic (IA) and one speaker of Swedish involving quantity distinctions. Contrary to the findings of Hassan (2002, 2003), the durational difference between long vowels preceding geminates and those preceding singletons are not significant in IA and perceptually go well under the difference limen values, but geminates following long vowels are significantly shorter than geminates following short vowels. Analysis of the durational data shows that in IA quantity is independently phonological in consonants and vowels but quantity complementarity is phonetic. In Swedish quantity is not independently phonological in consonants and vowels because quantity complementarity is phonological. Word overall durations, however, behave similarly in both languages. The study agrees with those above in concluding that quantity and quantity complementarity in IA and Swedish are language specific phenomena and operate differently in the two different phonological systems.


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