By the same authors

Acoustic analysis of the Syrian Arabic vowel system

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review




Conference18th International Congresses of Phonetic Sciences
CountryUnited Kingdom
Conference date(s)10/08/1514/08/15

Publication details

DatePublished - 2015
Original languageEnglish


This paper describes the vowel system of Syrian Arabic (SA) as spoken in Damascus. We examine the acoustic correlates of SA short/long vowel contrasts, and investigate the status of mid vowels in SA. The goal is to expand on the auditory description of the SA vowel system performed by Cowell [8]. The full set of vowel categories proposed by Cowell were produced in a neutral /hVd/ context by fifteen SA speakers. Quantitative analysis of vowel duration and formant measurements confirms that the vowel system of Syrian Arabic includes the main /i(ː)/, /a(ː)/, and /u(ː)/ short/long vowel contrasts and supports the phonemic status of mid-long vowels /eː/ and /oː/. However, the phonemic status of the mid short vowels [e] and [o] and of schwa was not supported and they are analysed as allophonic variants of their high counterparts /i/ and /u/, respectively.

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