First European Conference on Speech Communication and Technology

Paris, France
September 27-29, 1989

A Perceptual Study of Vowel-Duration as a Cue to Word-Boundaries in Moroccan Arabic

Christian Cave, Thami Benkirane

Institut de Phonetique, UA CNRS 621, France

In Moroccan Arabic, word final vowels are lengthened when they are followed by a consonant. Compared to vowels in syllable-final position, this lengthening may attain 50%. The difference in duration cannot be put down either to intrinsic or cointrinsic effects, nor to final lengthening. Since this temporal difference occurs at word boundaries it is consequently a potential cue for the identification of word bondaries, as can be shown from minimal pairs such as: /za bfasu/ "He came with his pickaxe #/zab fasu/ "He brought his pickaxe" where the only difference is in the duration of the first vowel.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Cave, Christian / Benkirane, Thami (1989): "A perceptual study of vowel-duration as a cue to word-boundaries in moroccan Arabic", In EUROSPEECH-1989, 2135.