Arabic Fundamental Frequency and Accent Effect
(2016) Arabic Fundamental Frequency and Accent Effect, no. 46.
Fundamental frequency (F0) is a key characteristic of voice, which can act as a tool for the differentiation in the meaning of words, an indicator tool of emotions/ moods and may also act as a tool in which sentences can be identified as statements or questions in English. This study aims to provide normative data of the F0 of steady state vowels (F0-SSV) and perturbation measures for Jordanian speaking males and females between the ages of 20-50 years old. In addition to looking at the F0-SSV of different Arabic accents of females to see if they fit within the range of the F0-SSV calculated for the female Jordanian Arabic speakers. 96 Participants were recorded in the capital city of Jordan, Amman producing prolonged vowels; /a/, /i/, /u/ and an elicited speech sample. The study was divided into two parts; part 1 provided normative data for Jordanian Arabic speakers, while part 2 looked at whether different accents and dialects of spoken Arabic causes change in F0-SSV. Recordings were analysed using PRAAT, and the F0, Jitter and Shimmer, and the Harmonics to noise ratio (H/N ratio) were documented. Results from the first part of the study provide normative data of F0-SSV and perturbation measurements for female and male Jordanian Arabic speakers. The F0-SSV range for females is 152.749 - 287.95 Hz, and the F0-SSV range for males is 103.939 - 232.193 Hz. Part 2 of this study show that from the two Arabic accents studied both F0-SSV measurements of the females Iraqi and Lebanese Arabic fit within the female F0-SSV range provided in part 1 of the study. Findings from this study are critically useful benefiting Speech and Language therapists (SLT's) worldwide clinically. SLT's dealing with Arabic speaking individuals anywhere in the world will be able to use the normative data provided to compare clients' voices in order to assess pathological voices.