Almbark, Rana and Hellmuth, Sam (2015) Acoustic analysis of the Syrian vowel system. In: Proceedings of ICPhS 2015. University of Glasgow. ISBN 9780852619414

This paper describes the vowel system of Damascus
Arabic in Syria, from now onwards referred to as
Syrian Arabic (SA). We examine the acoustic
correlates of SA short/long vowel contrasts, and
investigate the status of mid vowels in SA. The goal is to expand on the auditory description of the SA vowel system performed by Cowell [8]. The full set of vowel categories proposed by Cowell were produced in a neutral /hVd/ context by fifteen SA speakers. Quantitative analysis of vowel duration and formant measurements confirms that the vowel system of Syrian Arabic includes the main /i(ː)/, /a(ː)/, and /u(ː)/ short/long vowel contrasts and supports the phonemic status of mid-long vowels /eː/ and /oː/. However, the phonemic status of the mid short vowels [e] and [o] and of schwa was not supported and they are analysed as allophonic variants of their high counterparts /i/ and /u/, respectively.

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