Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics

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Managing Editors Online Edition: Lutz Edzard and Rudolf de Jong

The Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics Online comprehensively covers all aspects of Arabic languages and linguistics. It is interdisciplinary in scope and represents different schools and approaches in order to be as objective and versatile as possible. The Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics Online is cross-searchable and cross-referenced, and is equipped with a browsable index. All relevant fields in Arabic linguistics, both general and language specific are covered and the Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics Online includes topics from interdisciplinary fields, such as anthropology, psychology, sociology, philosophy, and computer science.

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Voice (Morphology)

(5 words)

see Diathesis
Date: 2018-04-01

Voice (Phonetics)

(2,486 words)

Author(s): Chakir Zeroual
1. Introduction This entry stays close to the most common definition of ‘voice’, according to which ‘voice’ corresponds to the component of speech that is mainly attributed to the vibration of the vocal folds. The phoneticians distinguish, in fact, between several modes of vocal fold vibration (or voice quality). For some of them, ‘voice’ is the nonmarked mode considered ‘neutral’ or ‘modal’ (see below, Sec. 3.1). The component of speech assigned to the vocal fold vibration is just one example of possible differences between speech sound…
Date: 2018-04-01

Vowel

(6 words)

see Phonetics ; Phonology
Date: 2018-04-01

Vowel Backing

(2,552 words)

Author(s): Melissa Barkat-Defradas
Ordinarily, vowels occur in coarticulation with consonants in the context of the syllable. Coarticulation refers to the overlapping gestures that occur during the pronunciation of any sequence of speech sounds. During speech, the movements of the articulators for the production of successive phonetic segments overlap in time and interact with one another. As a consequence, the vocal tract configuration at any point in time is influenced by more than one segment. Thus, the acoustic information in…
Date: 2018-04-01

Vowel Elision

(1,145 words)

Author(s): Thami Benkirane
Elision refers to the deletion of sound segments of differing natures (i.e. consonants, vowels, syllables). The factors responsible for this may be related to various phonetic, phonological, and prosodic constraints in the languages of the world. In French, for example, elision occurs so as to prevent vowel-to-vowel contact where vowels are attested at the initial position of words, as in the following examples: le + amil'ami [lami] ‘friend’ si + ils'il [sil] ‘if he’ Such a situation is impossible in Standard Arabic, where words always start with a consonant. If, no…
Date: 2018-04-01

Vowel Fronting

(6 words)

see Vowel Raising
Date: 2018-04-01

Vowel Harmony

(1,140 words)

Author(s): Philip J. Monahan
Vowel harmony is a long-distance phonological process. It is defined as the phonetic influence of one vowel on another. For example, the phonetic quality of being a high vowel (i.e. /i/ or /u/) may influence or ‘spread to’ a local non-high vowel. If vowel height is harmonized in a particular language, then we expect a non-high vowel to surface as a high vowel. The phonetic quality that spreads and the direction it spreads is language-specific. Some languages may exhibit only leftward spreading, …
Date: 2018-04-01

Vowel Lowering

(6 words)

see Vowel Backing
Date: 2018-04-01

Vowel Raising

(1,474 words)

Author(s): Melissa Barkat-Defradas
In spoken Arabic, vocalic segments are subject to a wide range of qualitative variations, most of them being determined by the consonantal environment (vowel backing). One of these changes concerns the raising and fronting of the vowel [a] in medial position (i.e. inside the word) and/or in final position (i.e. at the end of feminine nouns and adjectives that are morphologically marked by the ending [a] in Arabic). This process – referred to by the Arab grammarians with the term ʾimāla – is often connected with the phenomenon of umlaut and defined as “the inclination of [a] due to t…
Date: 2018-04-01

Vowel Reduction

(991 words)

Author(s): Thami Benkirane
Basically, the phenomenon of vowel reduction results from the shortening of a linguistic unit. This shortening can be due to sociolinguistic factors, phonetic evolution, apocope, phonotactic constraints, temporal adjustments dictated by prosodic events such as sandhi (i.e. the fusion of sounds across word boundaries, or alteration of sounds due to neighboring sounds), accentual contrast, increase in the speech rate, etc. Consider the following examples from Moroccan Arabic: (1) /## l + magana# djal# xa+ i ## / ## the + watch # of # brother + pronoun 1st person singular ## ‘my brother'…
Date: 2018-04-01