Airflow and acoustic modelling of pharyngeal and uvular consonants in Moroccan Arabic

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Idealised models based on realistic vocal-tract area functions are proposed for Arabic uvular /<i>&#967;</i>, &#641;/ and pharyngeal /&#295;, &#661;/ and compared against data from four male speakers of Moroccan Arabic (MA). Synthesised versions of [aCa] sequences were created from these idealised models and subjected to perception tests in which the subjects were ten speakers of MA. Findings of this study confirm that these consonants should not be considered fricatives but approximants. First, area values of supraglottal constriction and glottal constriction are estimated to be higher than those for simple fricatives. Second, corresponding spectrograms often show a vowel-like formant structure. Third, calculated and measured airflow values were in a much higher range than for normal fricatives.


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