Production of emphatic consonants by a speaker of Lebanese Arabic was examined using real-time magnetic resonance imaging (rtMRI). Emphatic consonants were found to be articulated with a more depressed and retracted tongue body than their non-empatic counterparts, with the narrowest emphatic constriction observed in the upper pharynx. Both progressive and regressive emphasis spread was observed, and was not blocked by a high palatal segment ([y]). Emphaticized segments exhibit similar retraction and depression with magnitudes that vary according to the direction of spreading. These data suggest that emphasis spread may operate in a phonetically-complex way not accounted for by phonological theory, and in addition illustrate the advantage of real-time MRI as a method for studying emphasis in Semitic phonology.
Index Terms: speech production, Arabic, emphatic, emphasis spread, pharyngealization, real-time MRI
Bibliographic reference. Israel, Assaf / Proctor, Michael / Goldstein, Louis / Iskarous, Khalil / Narayanan, Shrikanth (2012): "Emphatic segments and emphasis spread in Lebanese Arabic: a real-time magnetic resonance imaging study", In INTERSPEECH-2012, 2178-2181.