Third European Conference on Speech Communication and Technology

Berlin, Germany
September 22-25, 1993


Restricted Distribution of Pharyngeal Segments: Acoustical or Mechanical Constraints?

Ahmed M. Elgendy

Institute of Linguistics, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden

The segmental organisation of the consonants in relation to vowel-context in Egyptian Arabic was investigated. The percentage of the frequency of occurrence for each consonant and the ratio of initial/medial and initial/final positions for CWC, CVCVC, and CVCC morphemes were counted from matrices contain all permissible combinations. The results revealed that consonants in a given sequence are selected according to their compatibility to preserve the temporal aspects of syllable structure. The relationship between consonant positions in a sequence depends, to a great extend, on their relative degree of jaw-height. The physiological constraints effecting segments involve the pharynx in their production have a severe impact on the over-all distributional patterns. The results could point out the predominant effect the mechanical factor has on the observed phonotactic patterns and further suggest that this factor can be used in improving methods of constructing artiulatory models of speech.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Elgendy, Ahmed M. (1993): "Restricted distribution of pharyngeal segments: acoustical or mechanical constraints?", In EUROSPEECH'93, 413-416.