Edited by Zeki Majeed Hassan and Barry Heselwood
[Current Issues in Linguistic Theory 319] 2011
► pp. 235–256
Glottalisation and neutralisation in Yemeni Arabic and Mehri
An acoustic study
We present results of a comparative acoustic analysis of pre-pausal glottalisation in Ṣan‘āni, the Arabic dialect of the old city of Ṣan‘ā, and Mahriyōt, an eastern Yemeni dialect of the Modern South Arabian language Mehri.1 Data are analysed from one speaker of each variety. In the obstruent series, both varieties maintain the three-way voiced – emphatic – voiceless contrast of Proto-Semitic. In Ṣan‘āni, sonorants and voiced and emphatic obstruents glottalise pre-pausally, while voiceless aspirated stops pre-aspirate, leading to neutralisation of the laryngeal contrast between voiced and emphatic obstruents. Our analyses of Ṣan‘āni demonstrate that while oral stops and vowels post-glottalise, other segments tend to pre-glottalise and are prone to lenition, particularly the (non-sibilant) coronals. In Mahriyōt, emphatic and voiced obstruents are glottalised pre-pausally, and voiceless aspirates are heavily post-aspirated. Sonorants and fricatives may be pre-glottalised, but, in contrast to Ṣan‘āni, no lenition is evident. Results also show that while the Mahriyōt velar emphatic is ejective in all positions, the other emphatics become ejective only pre-pausally.
Cited by 4 other publications
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