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About this book

This book presents a contrastive linguistics study of Arabic and English for the dual purposes of improved language teaching and speech processing of Arabic via spectral analysis and neural networks. Contrastive linguistics is a field of linguistics which aims to compare the linguistic systems of two or more languages in order to ease the tasks of teaching, learning, and translation. The main focus of the present study is to treat the Arabic minimal syllable automatically to facilitate automatic speech processing in Arabic. It represents important reading for language learners and for linguists with an interest in Arabic and computational approaches.

Table of Contents

Frontmatter

Chapter 1. Introduction

Contrastive linguistics is a field of linguistics which aims to compare linguistic systems of two or more languages in order to ease the task of teaching, learning and translation processes. It has a lot of concerns with teaching problems and therefore tries to provide problem-solving. It provides teaching programmes, on the one hand, and studies the system of each language (syntactic level, phonetic level, phonological level and morphological level) to help in translation on the other. Contrast can be done at several levels; in the syntactic semantic field, for instance, contrastive linguistics works according to universalities, i.e. to delimit how to realize a universal category in contrasted languages. In phonology, however, it deals with phonological characteristics and shows functions of this latter in languages to be compared, i.e. theoretical contrastive study is an independent study; it does not deal with a particular element that exists in language (A). However, it does deal with how a universal category (x) is realized in language (A) and (B). Contrastive linguistic studies, therefore, do not travel from A to B but rather from X to A and X to B (Dresher 2009, p. 1).
Mohammed Dib

Chapter 2. The Arabic Phonological System

There is no doubt that the main function of language is communication and transmitting ideas from the speaker to the listener; therefore language is a means used by people to understand each other. It is also a general human phenomenon that serves the same functions in different societies. It is made of a set of sounds that fulfil different meanings. From this standpoint, one can see that languages are different from one community to another and every language has its own system which is studied in terms of phonetics, phonology, morphology and semantics. The idea of Firth is a good demonstration of the point. He relates language to society and sees that humans communicate to each other according to different social attitudes using a particular form of style and choosing different types of words. So language is influenced by the social framework that is used within it and is influenced by its elements (Almasdi 1986, p. 176).
Mohammed Dib

Chapter 3. The English Phonological System

Like many linguists, cognitive linguists study language for its own sake; therefore they try to describe and explain its systematicity, its structure, the different functions it serves and its realization. In this respect, cognitive linguists in studying language attempt to investigate the patterns of conceptualization, i.e. language offers a window into cognitive function scrutinizing the nature of the structure and organization of thoughts.
Mohammed Dib

Chapter 4. A Contrastive Phonological Study of English and Arabic

Languages are different from each other in terms of systems: phonetic, phonological, morphological, syntactic and semantic. This is due to the physical and the social environment in the Sapirian theory and to the parametric variations in Chomskian theory, where speakers use nouns and verbs, for instance, as heads or tails in sentences or the opposite. This denotes that the speakers’ brains are in a certain state, in the sense that language is a cognitive system which is a part of any normal human beings mental or psychological structure. The focus in this chapter is made on the different structure of the speakers’ brains with regard to the diphthong. For example what is considered as a diphthong, i.e. a vowel, in English is regarded as a syllable in Arabic.
Mohammed Dib

Chapter 5. Arabic Automatic Speech Recognition

Language is a complex phenomenon of multiforms, for it is associated in many fields; sometimes it is acoustic, sometimes physiological and sometimes psychological and social (De Saussure 2002, p. 15).
Mohammed Dib

Backmatter

Additional information