An instrumental study of pausal vowels in Il-Ǧillī Arabic (Southern Turkey)
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This phonetic study explores the pausal form, a very old feature of Arabic. More specifically, it looks at the effect of the pause on vowels in word-final syllables in a non-emphatic environment. Five female native Arabic speakers from the village of Il-Ǧillī in Southern Turkey were interviewed by the author and their speech was recorded. After a canonical pausal environment and a canonical non-pausal environment were defined based on existing literature and the present data, the non-emphatic vowels in word-final syllables found in the five interviews were selected and organized into one of two categories: pausal and non-pausal. The following features of each vowel was measured in PRAAT: vowel duration, amount of formant movement throughout the vowel, and F1, F2 and F3 values at three different time points throughout the vowel. The data were analyzed using a series of linear mixed model analyses. The results show that pausal vowels differ significantly from non-pausal vowels in the following ways: first, pausal vowels have greater duration than non-pausal vowels. Second, pausal vowels undergo more formant movement than non-pausal vowels. Finally, pausal vowels occupy a different area of the vowel space than non-pausal vowels, and this effect varies based on vowel quality (a/i/u) and syllable type (CV/CVC). This dissertation ends with a brief discussion of the distribution of pausal forms in the data.