The phonetics of localising uvularisation in Ammani-Jordanian Arabic

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This paper examines the localisation of consonant uvularisation in vowels produced by six speakers of Ammani-Jordanian Arabic. Certain coronal consonants traditionally called ‘emphatics’ are accompanied by a uvularised quality correlating with a depressed second formant (F2) in vowels located in various parts of the word in which they appear. Three corpora were gathered to examine the strength of uvularisation in vowels in different locations with respect to the emphatic, finding four levels of F2 difference systematic enough to statistically generalise to the population of speakers. In addition, blocking effects of high segments are found to be the result of coarticulation of other vowel and consonant contrasts. Finally, productions of uvular stops also trigger another weaker variety of uvularisation. Since these effects seem to be general to the variety of Arabic studied, a model of these patterns is discussed in light of the phonological factors implicated by the patterns.


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