Jordan University of Science and Technology

On the Definition of Word Segmental

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

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.