On the Definition of the Word "Segmental"

Mark Hasegawa-Johnson, Elabbas Benmamoun, Eiman Mustafawi, Mohamed Elmahdy, Rehab Duwairi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Textbooks in phonology often specify a distinction between segmental features (e.g., place and manner of articulation) vs. suprasegmental features (stress and phrasing). The distinction between segmental and suprasegmental features is useful even in autosegmental models like Articulatory Phonology, because it distinguishes between features shared by the different instantiations of a phoneme vs. those not so shared. In a model like Articulatory Phonology, however, there is no requirement that a segmental feature should be synchronous with the other features of the same segment. Classification results are provided from Levantine Arabic, showing that features of the primary articulator of a fricative are acoustically signaled during frication, but that features of the secondary articulator are signaled during the preceding and following vowels, suggesting that the definition of the word "segmental" should not require synchronous implementation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 6th International Conference on Speech Prosody, SP 2012
PublisherTongji University Press
Number of pages4
ISBN (Print)9787560848693
StatePublished - 2012
Event6th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2012, SP 2012 - Shanghai, China
Duration: May 22 2012May 25 2012

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 6th International Conference on Speech Prosody, SP 2012


Other6th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2012, SP 2012


  • Arabic speech processing
  • Distinctive feature classification
  • GMM supervector
  • Phonology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Software
  • Mechanical Engineering


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