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

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003


Consonant Cluster Duration in Modern Standard

Chokri Rejili, Salem Ghazali

Institut Supérieur des Langues de Tunis, Tunisia

This paper investigates the duration of single consonants and two-consonant clusters in Modern Standard Arabic as produced by Tunisian male subjects. The data consisted of 105 words of the type CVCVCV and CVCCVCV with stress on the first syllable. The results show that in Arabic, a language which contrasts geminate and simple consonants, the durations of single stops are considerably shorter than those reported for English or Dutch.
   The results also show that the observed duration of a two-consonant cluster exceeds the sum of the durations of each consonant when it occurs as singleton. The lengthening of consonants in clusters, as opposed the compression reported in other languages, is observed in both obstruents and sonorants, and is inversely proportional to the duration of single consonants. The paper also discusses the effects of variables such as position within the cluster, voicing and major class features on the duration of simple consonants and clusters.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Rejili, Chokri / Ghazali, Salem (2003): "Consonant cluster duration in modern standard", In ICPhS-15, 1105-1108.