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

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


The Arabic Pharyngeal Approximant

Ashraf Alkhairy

MIT, Cambridge, MA, USA

The acoustic properties of the Arabic pharyngeal approximant in intervocallic sequences are studied. This sound has traditionally been classified as a voiced fricative, but our research indicates that it is an approximant, with no IPA symbol. The attenuation in the intensity of the consonant from the neighboring vowels is around 11 dB, and the fundamental frequency of the consonant is less than that of the vowels by 25 Hz. Study of the formant trajectories indicates that Fl increasesa nd F3 decreasesin to the consonant for all contexts. The bandwidths remain unchanged from that of vowels, except in the context of /a/ for which both B2 and B3 increase. Examination of the estimated glottal volume velocity indicates an open quotient of lOO%, and a spectral tilt that is highly dependent on the context with an average of 36 dB, and a value of 2% dB for the context of /a/.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Alkhairy, Ashraf (1999): "The Arabic pharyngeal approximant", In ICPhS-14, 1029-1032.