Some Methodological Issuers in Experimental Phonetics: Sampling Techniques and Recording Procedures





Journal title

دار الكتب الوطنية بنغازي


Vol. 0 No. 23


Abdurraouf Shitaw


31 - 50


This paper is an attempt to cover some of the factors that need to be considered when conducting phonetic research, in general, and in acoustic phonetics in particular. The aim is to help young Libyan phoneticians to become aware of some of the main methodological issues in experimental phonetics, to guide them through some tips to conduct research on Libyan Arabic and reach results that are valid and reliable. There are a number of issues that researchers need to pay attention to before recording their data. These include the speaker, the material, the environment and the equipment. Regarding the speaker, the researcher needs to pay attention to some information about the physical character of the speaker such as his age, sex and medical history. Information about the language background of the speaker is also of equal importance. Here, the researcher needs to check the speaker’s first and second language, dialect, level of education and profession. The speaker must be a native speaker of the language or the dialect under investigation. As for the material, the researcher should decide what type of material to collect in order to test what he aims to test. Choosing a quiet environment is very vital to the quality of the material to be recorded. The researcher should choose a quiet place, preferably a sound-proof room to minimize background noise. The researcher should also look for ways to minimize the observer paradox, where the presence of the researcher and the equipment may influence the naturalness of the data to be collected, by establishing a friendly environment and distracting the mind of the speaker that he is being recorded. As for the equipment, the researcher should use a high quality recorder with a condenser microphone instead of dynamic microphones. Taking these issues into consideration will not only validate the results, but also make them reliable, objective, and can also be generalized.