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Title: Comparing expert and non-expert reciters of the Qur'an : an experimental study of emphatic spreading/blocking in Classical and Modern Standard Arabic
Author: Habis, A. A. H.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1999
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This study deals with the phonological and phonetic performance of expert reciters of the Qur'an. Expert reciters constitute a special group of speakers who receive intensive and detailed oral instruction in tajwid, the traditional art and discipline of correct Qur'anic pronunciation. Expert reciters are compared with non-expert reciters and Classical Arabic (CA) with Modern Standard Arabic (MSA). The study focuses on F2 frequency measurements of /a/ in 'emphatic' (velarized) and 'plain' (non-velarized) environments. The main objective is to find out whether there are any significant differences between the speakers and styles investigated, and to determine the objective basis of 'expert' status in tradition. In order to achieve these goals the experts' measurements were statistically compared to the non-experts' and CA to MSA. It was found that there are significant differences between experts and non-experts and between CA and MSA. It was also found that the acoustic measurements of the non-experts' recitations correlated significantly with the grades they were given by the experts, and that the experts ranked the non-experts similarly. It is proposed that emphatic spread in CA/MSA is not a case of phonetic underspecification because emphasis spreads categorically in both styles regardless of the speakers' expertise. A full specification theory is, therefore, more appropriate to account for this phenomenon. But it has the disadvantage of not showing the phonetic difference between experts and non-experts. We also propose that experts are well-trained to retain the plainness of the vowel when it tends to exhibit emphasis from the following segment. It is finally recommended that tajwid rules be studied using experimental tools, and to develop computational research studies that will give rise to the teaching of correct recitation style using modern techniques in addition to oral teaching.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available