The Influence of Frequency Filtering on the Perception of /ṣ/ in Arabic





Journal title

دار الكتب الوطنية بنغازي


Vol. 0 No. 22


Abdurraouf Shitaw


1 - 22


This study aims to investigate the production and the acoustic correlates of /ṣ/ in Arabic. One of the main interesting facts about emphatic consonants is that their production can affect the production of the consonants and vowels in their vicinity. The aim of this study is to determine whether filtering the frequencies of the second formant of the vowels neighbouring /ṣ/ will affect the intelligibility of the word. Six minimal pairs with /ṣ/ and /s/ were recorded three times each. A band-stop filter was created and applied to the original recording to delete the frequencies between 1000 and 2000Hz. The original and the filtered recording were then played to eighteen native speakers of Arabic to determine the identity of these words. Results from the analysis of the participants’ responses showed some influence of filtering the second formant of the vowels on the perception of /ṣ/. This effect was mostly seen in words which did not have any back consonants. Only some influence has been noticed in words like /qaṣr/, because the /q/ is a back consonant. Although the filter affected the perception and intelligibility, it is obvious that it worked more effectively on words containing front consonants and vowels. Finally, in order to determine the influence filtering on intelligibility, it is very important to apply a different filter (to reject more frequencies) and to use more minimal pairs containing the rest of emphatic and plain consonants. This will help determine which frequencies are more vital in ensuring the intelligibility of emphatic sounds.