14th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-14)

San Francisco, CA, USA
August 1-7, 1999


Identification of Arabic Dialects and Experimental Determination of Distinctive Cues

Melissa Barkat

Laboratoire Dynamique Du Langage, France

This paper deals with the identification of Arabic vernaculars based on analysis of natural speech. Six Arabic dialects were chosen from two major dialect areas of the Arab World (i.e. Maghreb vs. Middle-East). Speech data were obtained by recording spontaneously produced narration (i.e. description of pictures) by 12 Arabic speakers from 6 different countries. Samples of speech (complete utterances) were then selected so as to make up the stimulus material for a perception test. The results of the experiment show that native Arabic speakers are successful in identifying the dialectal varieties used on the basis of cues of different kinds (segmental, syntactic, lexical and prosodic). This perceptual experiment must be regarded as a first step towards the determination of a set of reliable cues for the Automatic Identification of Arabic Dialects.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Barkat, Melissa (1999): "Identification of Arabic dialects and experimental determination of distinctive cues", In ICPhS-14, 901-904.