9th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Brisbane, Australia
September 22-26, 2008

Study on Unique Pharyngeal and Uvular Consonants in Foreign Accented Arabic

Yousef A. Alotaibi, Khondaker Abdullah-Al-Mamun, Ghulam Muhammad

King Saud University, Saudi Arabia

This paper investigates the unique pharyngeal and uvular consonants of Arabic from the automatic speech recognition (ASR) point of view. Comparisons of the recognition error rates for these phonemes are analyzed in five experiments that involve different combinations of native and non-native Arabic speakers. The most three confusing consonants for every investigated consonant are uncovered and discussed. Results confirm that these Arabic distinct consonants are a major source of difficulty for ASR. While the recognition rate for certain of these unique consonants such as /H/ can drop below 35% when uttered by non-native speakers, there are advantages to including non-native speakers in ASR. Regional differences in the pronunciation of Modern Standard Arabic by native Arabic speakers require attention of Arabic ASR research.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Alotaibi, Yousef A. / Abdullah-Al-Mamun, Khondaker / Muhammad, Ghulam (2008): "Study on unique pharyngeal and uvular consonants in foreign accented Arabic", In INTERSPEECH-2008, 751-754.