Article published in:Instrumental Studies in Arabic Phonetics
Edited by Zeki Majeed Hassan and Barry Heselwood
[Current Issues in Linguistic Theory 319] 2011
► pp. 63–98
Assimilation of /l/ to /r/ in Syrian Arabic
An electropalatographic and acoustic study
Since the time of Sībawayh over twelve hundred years ago the phenomenon of manner assimilation among sonorant coronal consonants in Arabic has been recognised. In this chapter we present analysis of electropalatographic and acoustic data from three female speakers of Syrian Arabic to investigate the assimilation of word-final /l/ to word-initial /r/. The results show that assimilation is optional at slow, normal and fast speech rates and most common at the fast rate. They also show that assimilation is complete at the fast rate, and may be either complete or gradient at the slow and normal rates. We argue for a phonological model of assimilation in which complete assimilation does not precipitate a phonological category change unless there are no differences in the set of possible realisations of an assimilated and an unassimilated consonant in the same phonological context, which is not the case in Syrian Arabic manner assimilation.
Published online: 21 December 2011
Cited by 3 other publications
Amir, Noam, Ofer Amir & Judith Rosenhouse
Ntelitheos, Dimitrios & Tommi Tsz-Cheung Leung
Recasens, Daniel & Meritxell Mira
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