15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-15)

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003

Voice Onset Time in Egyptian Arabic: A Case where Phonological Categories Dominate

Khaled Rifaat

University of Alexandria, Egypt

Phonetic categories of voicing- exemplified in voice onset time (VOT)- in Colloquial Egyptian Arabic (CEA) reflect directly the phonological opposition of voicing. CEA has a "model" pattern of long lead versus short lag for voiced and voiceless stops respectively. This phonological domination is further embodied in the complete compliance of data to this pattern. There was not a single case of overlap between the two categories. In addition, our data showed low degrees of variability within each category. VOT has been tested as a function of sex, emphasis, length of the following vowel, place of articulation and stress. Of these variables, only stress and place of articulation have shown significant influence on VOT. However, the effect of neither stress nor place was strong enough to distinctly categorize data or to override the basic pattern of VOT.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Rifaat, Khaled (2003): "Voice onset time in Egyptian Arabic: a case where phonological categories dominate", In ICPhS-15, 791-794.