Emphasis, Manner, and Voice in Urban Jordanian Arabic: Linguistic and Extralinguistic Interactions


The present paper examines the impact of extra-linguistic variables (gender and social class) on the linguistic interaction between emphasis and manner, on the one hand, and voice, on the other hand, in Urban Jordanian Arabic. To achieve this goal, 40 participants produced 12 monosyllabic CVC minimal pairs with the target consonant (plain or emphatic) occurring word-initially. Measurements taken were F1, F2, and F3 at vowel onset and midpoint positions. Acoustically, it was found that emphasis was stronger following a stop than following a fricative, and it is more pronounced following a voiced consonant than following a voiceless one. However, the extra-linguistic factors did not have a strong bearing on these linguistic interactions. In general, the interaction between emphasis and manner or voice was not influenced by gender or social class. An exception to this finding was the overlap between emphasis and manner at F1 onset, where the interplay of both gender and social class affected the linguistic interaction. In particular, upper-class males produced stronger emphasis following stops than following fricatives, whereas lower-middle class males produced stronger emphasis following a fricative than following a stop.


Osama Omari and Aziz Jaber


emphasis, gender, Jordanian Arabic, manner, social class, voice