Consonants in English and Arabic

Consonants in English and Arabic

English and Arabic phonemes Phonemic systems Each language has its own phonemic system. Systems may show similarities or differences. Comparing English and Arabic, we reach 3 results: 1. There are phonemes common to both languages. 2. There are phonemes existent in English Types of Phonemic Differences Type 1 2 3 L1 + + - L2 +

+ Common Consonants: No. Common phoneme English example Arabic example 1 /b/ Bait/ball 2 /t/ Tail, toy / 3 /d/

Day, dark / 4 /k/ Kite/car / 5 /d/ Judge/jug / 6 /f/ Fix/fast /

Common Consonants: No. Common phoneme English example Arabic example 7 // Three/thin 8 // They, then / 9

/s/ Sing, sign / 10 /z/ Zero/zoo / 11 // Shine/shake / 12 /h/

High/hat / Common Consonants: No. Common phoneme English example Arabic example 13 /l/ Light/law / 14 /m/

May, mother / 15 /n/ now / 16 /w/ Why, water 17 /r/ rite/right / /

18 /y/ Yellow/university / There are 18 common consonants between English and Arabic. They may not always be identical: /t/ and /d/ are alveolar in English but dental in Arabic; /h/ occurs in initial and medial positions in English only as in horse, behave /h/ occurs initially, medially and finally in Arabic as in Consonants restricted to English No. Consonant English example

Arabic example 1 /p/ Pen - 2 /g/ good - 3 /t/ Chair/chat -

4 /v/ Vast - 5 // Measure - 6 // Sing/singer - Notes: 1. Although /p/ is a distinct phoneme in English, it is an allophone in Arabic in a conditioned environment.

Example: /b/ is pronounced as /p/ because it is followed by a voiceless sound. 2. /g/ is restricted to English but it can exist in some Arabic dialects as in the Palestinian dialect: 3. // is restricted to English but it exist in Arabic dialect as in in Syrian or Lebanese dialects. 4. // does not exist in Arabic. It exists word medially and finally in English as in finger, sing No. Consonants Restricted to Arabic: Consonant Arabic example English example 1 /T/ - 2

/q/ - 3 /?/ - 4 /D/ - 5 /S/ /

- 6 /X/ - 7 /H/ / - 8 /D/ / -

9 /G/ - 10 /9/ - Consonant cluster Consonant cluster is a group of consonants coming together without a vowel sound between them. 11

Consonant clusters Two consonants: sphere, sleep, cuts, dogs. Three consonants: street, risked, holds Four consonants: texts Notes: - Maximum number of English consonant clusters is 4 and only final, while the maximum number in Arabic is 2. 12 Consonant clusters Consonant clusters come at initial or final positions in English words. The following are the commonest cases: 1. Two consonants at the beginning of words: st = step sp = spot, spin sk = sky, school sl = sleep, sw = sweat, sweep sn = snail, snow sm = smart, smith st = stove, steel 13 Consonant clusters

2. Three consonants at the beginning of words: /spr/ = spray, spread, spring. /str/ = street, struggle, strict. /skr/ = scream, screen, screw, script. /stj/ = stupid, student, /spl/ = splash, splendid, split. 14 Consonant clusters Word Medial Clusters: two types 1. Intra-syllabic consonant cluster: The sequence of consonants in the word medial position which belong to the same syllable is called intra-syllabic cluster. Examples include: camping, reply, windy, extra 2. Inter-syllabic cluster: If the consonants forming the cluster belong to two different syllables, we have an inter-syllabic cluster as in: blackboard /kb/ description /skr/ extra /kstr/ import /mp/ movement /vm/ Consonant clusters 3. Two consonants at the end of the word:

/p/ = depth, /pt/ = wept, /nt/= point, want. /ts/ = cats, /gz/ = dogs, 4. Three consonants at the end of the word: Fields, risks, facts, depths, adopts, lapsed, acts, next 5. Four consonants at the end of the word: Texts, prompts, twelfths, 16 Consonant clusters - Arabic does not allow initial consonants clusters. - It allows word final as in , , - Medial could be something like 17

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