Voiced and Voiceless Bilabial Occlusive in Arabic Speakers. A problematic pair.
Voiced and Voiceless Bilabial Occlusive in Arabic Speakers. A problematic pair.This paper aims at describing the author’s ongoing Phd research, focusing on the production of the plosive consonants /p/it and /b/it by Arabic speaking learners of Italian as a second or foreign language. The study of this pair of homorganic consonants is of particular interest since the voiceless /p/, although not present in the repertoire of Classical Arabic, appears in some of the modern oral varieties. In order to study the characteristics of the labial occlusive consonants made by the interviewed speakers, the Voice Onset Time, an acoustic parameter particularly effective in phonological discrimination, was measured. The analyses of instrumental data already available will be exposed, along with some consideration on methodology (such as the preparation of an ad hoc questionnaire and the characteristics of the target sample). In the concluding paragraph possible interpretations of data will be put forward, analysing them in the light of the existing theories about phonological learning in adult age and of the specific background of the speakers.
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