Prosodic Encoding of Focus in Hijazi Arabic

Journal Article
Alzaidi, Muhammad . 2019
نوع عمل المنشور: 
بحث علمي
صوتيات ، علم المعاني ، البرقماتك ، اللهجة الحجازية، العربية
المجلة \ الصحيفة: 
Speech Communication
رقم الإصدار السنوي: 
مستخلص المنشور: 

This paper presents findings of the first systematic acoustic analysis of focus prosody in Hijazi Arabic (HA), an under-researched Arabic dialect. A question-answer paradigm was used to elicit information and contrastive focus at different sentence locations in comparison with their neutral focus counterparts. Systematic acoustic analyses were performed to compare all the focus conditions, in terms of both continuous F0 trajectories and specific acoustic measurements. Results show that focused words have significantly expanded excursion size, higher maximum F0and longer duration. Post-focus words have significantly lowered F0 (except in the case of penultimate focus). Pre-focus words, in contrast, lack systematic changes. These patterns are consistent with previously reported prosodic patterns of focus in other Arabic dialects. They are also consistent with a number of others languages that have also been applied similar systematic acoustic analyses. Thus Arabic appears to belong to a group of languages that all exhibit post-focus compression (PFC), as opposed to languages that lack PFC. In addition, the results also show evidence of prosodic differences between contrastive focus and information focus. This difference, however, is interpreted as due to a methodological feature that allowed elicitation of incredulity related to contrastive focus, rather than as a language-specific property. It is also argued that the possible involvement of incredulity in focus marking needs further research.