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A phonetic study of guttural laryngeals in Palestinian Arabic using laryngoscopic and acoustic analysis

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Abstract

In some languages, laryngeal consonants pattern with pharyngeals and uvulars as members of a guttural natural class. Phonologists and phoneticians have sought the phonetic basis for this pattern, as required by the Grounding Hypothesis (Archangeli & Pulleyblank 1994). We continue the search in this study and present the results of a laryngoscopic investigation of guttural laryngeals from one male speaker of Palestinian Arabic. The data show that Arabic laryngeals lack the pharyngeal, i.e. aryepiglottic (Esling 1996), articulation of the other Arabic gutturals. We see that the same is indicated for Hebrew by laryngoscopic data from that language. We conclude that Arabic and Hebrew guttural laryngeals are a case of phonetics-phonology mismatch and that the solution to the puzzle of guttural laryngeals is, for Arabic at least, phonological, not phonetic.

References

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