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date: 24 April 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Phonology is the study of systematic patterning in the distribution and realization of speech sounds within and across language varieties. Arabic phonology features heavily in the work of the Arab grammarians, most notably in the Kitaab of Sibawayh. Sibawayh provides phonetic descriptions of the articulation of individual speech sounds, which are accompanied by an analysis of the patterning of sounds in Arabic, which is indisputably phonological in nature. This article sets out five important strands of phonological research on Arabic, taking in work on the language-particular phonological properties of Arabic as well as research that exploits fine-grained variation among spoken varieties of Arabic for theoretical gain. The discussion is structured to move from segmental phonology (the properties of individual speech sounds) to suprasegmental phonology (the properties of larger domains such as the syllable, word, or phrase).

Keywords: Arabic phonology, speech sounds, language, Arab grammarians, Kitab of Al-Sibawayh, articulation, phonological research, segmental phonology, suprasegmental phonology

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