Acoustic cues to focus and givenness in Egyptian Arabic
Hellmuth (2009) showed that contrastively focussed items are realised in an expanded pitch range in Egyptian Arabic (EA), whereas items following such a focus are realised in a compressed pitch range (cf. Norlin 1989 for EA, and Chahal 2001 for Lebanese Arabic). No equivalent variation in F0 excursion was found depending on whether the item was new to the discourse or given (repeated from earlier in the discourse). The present study presents analysis of F0 excursion, duration, overall intensity and spectral tilt, in a directly parallel dataset collected from six speakers of EA, in order to test whether any of these correlates are employed in the expression of givenness in EA. Focus is found to be marked by F0 excursion only, but no prosodic correlates of givenness are observed.