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Introduction Ample amount of research has been carried out by many linguists and scholars investigating the occurrence

and use of the glottal stop in different languages. It is said that the glottal stop is difficult in pronunciation and recognition for foreign learners. However, it is used to perform many functions. This paper shall provide a comprehensive account of these functions and the contexts in which they may appear. In addition, an investigation of the actual status of this sound shall be carried out, i.e. whether it is considered a phoneme or not both in English and Arabic.

Glottal Stop in English When the vocal folds are firmly pressed together, air cannot pass between them. When this happens in speech we call it a glottal stop or glottal plosive (Roach, 2000: 29). Roach (2002: 75) states that glottal stops are found as consonant phonemes in some languages (e.g .Arabic). They are also found in many accents of English. Sometimes a glottal stop is pronounced in front of a /p/, /t/ or /k/ if there is not a vowel immediately following (e.g. 'captive', 'catkin', 'arctic'). A similar case is that of /t/ when following a stressed vowel (or syllable-final), as in 'butcher'. One of the functions of a closure of the vocal folds is to produce a consonant. In a true glottal stop there is complete obstruction to the passage of air, and the result is a period of silence.

Yule (2010: 33) states that the glottal stop, represented by the symbol [], occurs when the space between the vocal folds (the glottis) is closed completely (very briefly), then released. Try saying the expression Oh oh! Between the first Oh and the second oh, we typically produce a glottal stop. Some people do it in the middle of Uh-uh (meaning no), and others put one in place of t when they pronounce Batman quickly. You can also produce a glottal stop if you try to say the words butter or bottle without pronouncing the -tt- part in the middle. This sound is considered to be characteristic of Cockney (London) speech. (Try saying the name

Harry Potter as if it didnt have the H or the tt.) You will also
hear glottal stops in the pronunciation of some Scottish speakers and also New Yorkers. Roach (2000: 32, 55) includes the glottal stop within the group of voiceless plosive consonants but states that it is of less importance, since it is usually just an alternative pronunciation of p, t or k in certain contexts (glottal replacement, which shall be discussed later in this paper). He further says that voiceless consonants are usually articulated with open glottis, i.e. with the vocal folds separated. However, with plosives an alternative possibility is to produce the consonant with completely closed glottis. This type of articulation is found widely in English pronunciation, especially that of young speakers. This glottalised pronunciation, in which a glottal stop occurs just before p, t, k and , is only found in certain contexts, and foreign learners usually find the rules too difficult to learn. The most widespread glottalisation is that of at the end of a

stressed syllable: nature /nei/, riches /riiz/. There is similar glottalisation of p, t and k, although this is not found so regularly. It normally happens when the plosive is followed by another consonant or a pause, for example: actor /kt/, mat /mt/. Glottalisation is a general term for any articulation involving a simultaneous glottal constriction, especially glottal stop. In English glottal stops are often used in this way to reinforce a voiceless plosive at the end of a word as in what? [wDt?] (Crystal, 2003: 187). Glottalisation (glottal stop) often occurs intermittently in normal speech, where it can play a communicative role, for example, in American English glottalization (glottal stop) can serve as an allophones of voiceless stops (particularly syllable final /t/) (Pierrehumbert, J. and Talkin, D, 1992: 113). It is common for phonetically different speech sounds to be intersubstitutable in the same context and yet to be in free variation: i.e. not to be in functional contrast. For example, [] and [t] are in free variation in forms like brightness, [n] vs. [tn] or that bloke, [b] vs. [tb]: i.e. before stop consonants whether oral or nasal. Here the distribution of one speech sound for another does not change brightness or that bloke into some other form. The choice of one pronunciation rather than another by speakers might be determined by stylistic factors of various kinds (Lyons, 1981: 88).

Therefore, the glottal stop is not a phoneme in English, but a sort of allophone of voiceless plosive, and it only appears in free variation, which means that, unlike /l/ and its dark allophone, there is no precise rule to determine and anticipate where it will appear and where it will not. In this regard Crystal (2003: 165) points that : "In traditional phonological studies, 'free variation' has been considered to be an area of little importance; but in recent SOCIOLINGUISTIC studies, it is suggested that 'free variants' need to be described, in terms of the frequency with which they occur, because of the choice of one variant rather than another may be made on sociological grounds, as when one 'chooses' a 'careful' rather than a 'casual' speech style." Two other important phenomena result from glottalisation, namely, 'glottal replacement' and 'glottal reinforcement'. Glottal replacement, to which mention has been made earlier, happens when a phoneme is completely substituted by a glottal stop [?]. This is, for instance, very common in Cockney and Estuary English. in these dialects, the glottal stop is an allophone of /p/, /t/, and /k/ word-finally and when precede by a stresses vowel and followed by unstressed vowel (this is also includes syllabic/l/, /m/, and /n/) e.g. 'city' [s?], 'bottle' [bo?tl] 'Britain' [br? n], 'seniority' [si:niDr?i] (Sullivan, 1992: 46). When a phoneme is accompanied (either sequentially or simultaneously) by a ]?[ then one speaks of pre-glottalisation or

glottal reinforcement. This is very common in all accents of English, including RP; /t/ is the most affected but /p/, /k/ and even occasionally // are also affected (Roach, 1973:10). In English the dialects exhibiting pre-glottalisation, the consonants in question are usually glottalized in the coda position, e.g., 'what' [wD?t], 'opera' [o?pre]. To a certain extent, there is a free variation in English between glottal replacement and glottal reinforcement (Sullivan, 1992: 46). In the case of word or morpheme final fortis clusters, e.g. /ps, pt, ts, ks, kt, t/ in corpse, apt, writes, axe, act, reached, the glottal reinforcement is applied to the first element of the cluster and may continue into the second, if this is also plosive. Such reinforcement is also sometimes heard in utterance-medial positions. This is the case when the word medial or final stop is made by // or one of the clusters mentioned previously and is followed by a vowel, e.g.

creature, reach it, watch it, drops it, dropped it, liked it, likes it, fits it (Gimson, 1989: 170).

Glottal Stop in Arabic The primary reference of the term hamza is the sign . However, it is also used, especially in the Arabic grammatical tradition, to refer to a specific speech sound, the glottal stop. The glottal stop is a phoneme in Arabic, in other words it is a sound that distinguishes one word from another. It isn't a phoneme in English, but an allophone, i.e. a variant of a sound, a variant of the phoneme /t/ in

English's case (Edwards, 2003: 71). That means that pronouncing the word water with a glottal stop i.e. wa?er does not change the meaning of the word. According to Wright (1967: 15-22, 131-139) and Mitchell (1953: 2021, 39-40, 79-81), the orthography of hamza shows that it is usually not written on its own but is supported by one of the consonants , or . The supporting consonant is known as the kursi chair of the hamza. The following are the most important rules governing hamza: The default kursi is the , however, when preceded or followed by the u or i, the or sometimes serves as kursi. There are also contexts in which the hamza is not supported by a kursi when preceded by a long vowel or a closed syllable, especially in word-final position. Lastly, there are instances in which the hamza, while pronounced ,is not written. When it occurs in phrase-initial position, it is customary to write only the vowel associated with the hamza directly over or under the that serves as the kursi. Traditional Arabic grammars distinguish two kinds of hamza, hamzatu l-qat the hamza of separation and hamzatu l-wasl the hamza of connection (Haywood and Nahmad, 1965: 10-l1, 114 etc.; Wright 1967:18-21). Coetzee (1998: 219-244) and Gadoua (2000: 59-85) explain that the hamzatu l-wasl is found only word-initially. It occurs in a few nouns (?bnun 'son'), in the definite article (?al 'the'), and in some verbal forms in imperative verbs (?uktub 'Write!'), and the forms that do not take an imperfect or participial

prefix (?inkasara 'it broke'). When any of these words occur in nonphrase initial position, the hamzatu l-wasl together with its accompanying vowel is deleted (compare ?inkasara 'it broke' with wa-nkasara 'and it broke'). The hamzatu l-qat', on the other hand, can occur word-initially (?abun 'father') and word-medially (su?ila 'it is asked') and is never deleted. A word like ?abun with the hamzatu l-qat' is therefore pronounced with the hamza when preceded by another word, while ?ibnun with the hamzatu l-wasl is pronounced without the hamza in this context (li-?abun 'for a father', but li-bnun 'for son'). The previously mentioned linguists independently argue against this traditional view. They argue that the hamzatu l-wasl is not part of the underlying form of any word. Words that are traditionally assumed to start on the hamzatu l-wasl should rather be seen as starting on a consonant cluster. Classical Arabic, and also many Modern Colloquial dialects, does not allow tautosyllabic consonant clusters. When any of these words occur phrase-initially, a syllable consisting of a hamza and some vowel is inserted in order to prevent the word from starting on a consonant cluster (/bnun/ [ib.nun]). However ,when such a word is preceded by another word, resyllabification across the word boundary resolves the consonant cluster (/li + bnun/ [lib.nun]). Under the traditional view it is not possible to explain adequately why hamza deletes phrase-initially in some words but not in others. Under the alternative view this is no longer a problem. The hamza is never deleted, but is rather inserted phrase-initially just in those cases

where it is necessary to resolve a tautosyllabic consonant cluster (this shall be given more elaborate consideration in the following passages). Watson (2002) states that the glottal stop, known as hamza in Arabic, was attested in all prosodic positions in Classical Arabic: word-initially, as in ?akal 'he ate'; intervocalically, as in sa?al 'he asked' and su?al 'question'; pre-consonantally, as in ra?s 'head'; post-consonantly, as in bad? 'begining'; and post-vocalically, as in xadra? 'green f'. Today, the glottal stop has weakened in the majority of Arabic dialects. It is usually attested between two identical short vowels, as in Cairene sa?al 'to ask' and si?im 'to become weary'; between two vowels of differing quality the glottal stop is usually replaced by a glide, as in suwal 'question' <*su?al and rayih 'going' <*ra?ih, and in post-vocalive word-final position it has been lost, as inxadra 'green f' < *xadra? (Ibid). With the exception of several Peninsula dialects, including many spoken in Yemen, Sibawayhi remarks that in words such as [ra?s] "a head" and [di?b] "a wolf", where a vowelless hamza is preceded by a short vowel, the hamza can be dropped. The short vowel preceding the hamza then becomes long, as in [ras] and [dib]. This process is referred to as hamza Dropping (Levin, 1998: 224). The reflexes of a number of common Standard Arabic glottal-stop-initial words are realized in several dialects with an initial glide, as in: wayn 'where' < *?ayn, Cairene widn 'ear' <

*?uun 'ear' and wakil 'wakil m. s.' < *?akil (Fischer and Jastrow 1980: 39). In Arabic, there are two types of elision: regular and irregular. The former is associated with the internal structure of words. This means that elision is due to difficulty of pronunciation.The latter does not follow a morphological rule. It is referred to as arbitrary (Ateeq, n.d.: 44). Regular elision of the glottal stop [?] occurs in the present form of the verb, present participle and past participle such as

[?u?krimu], [ mu?krimu], and [ mu?kramu ]. Thus, such forms become ?[ ukrimu], [ mukrimu] and [ mukramu]. This type of elision is mentioned to make the articulation of these words easy (Ibid). Irregular elision is referred to as arbitrary, i.e. it is not morphologically conditioned as indicated in the following instances: 1- The glottal stop [?] in ?[ l?ilaah] is elided and this word becomes ?[ llaah] due to its frequent use in the holly Qura'n (Al-Yemeni, 2002: 572). 2- The glottal stop [?] in the imperative verbs is elided: ?[ ukul] and ?[ umur] become [ kul] and [ mur] (Ibn Usfoor, 1986: 559). 3- Al-Batlioosi (1980: 338) indicates that the glottal stop [?] in the word ?[ bn] is elided when such a word occurs between: a- Two proper nouns as in [ haaa zaydu bin a'li].

b- Two surnames as [ haaa abu ja'far bin abi muhammad]. c- A proper noun and a surname as in [ abu abdillahi bin zayd]. Eid and McCarthy (1990: 11-12) mention another notion, that is insertion. Although medial syllables begin with exactly one consonant, initial sequences of two consonants occur. These appear in verb forms and their derivatives that have what is traditionally called hamzatu l-wasli, the "elideable" glottal stop. Examples include the forms ?infaal, ?iftaal and ?istafal. the distribution of theis property forces any phonological analysis to say that the initial glottal stop and the vowel following it are not in fact elided, but rather inserted in the course of syllabification. For example, the underlying representation of the form ?iftaal stem is

ftaala, although on the surface this word in isolation is

pronounced as ?iftaal. The following examples show what happens to this form in different phonological contexts within the utterance or major phonological phrase: The phenomenon of hamzat l-wasli: a- Postpausally (that is, utterance initially): ?if ta al b- Postconsonantally: qad if ta al c- Postvocalically: huw waf taal The examples indicate the syllabic affiliation of every segment in the three possible phonological contexts. In postvocalic contexts,







contexts, a triconsonantal cluster is broken up by a vowel i before

a or i, and u before u. postpausally, the initial cluster of ftaal

requires a vowel, and the vowel itself requires a preceding consonant, ? since all Arabic syllables must begin with a consonant. The appearance of ? and vowel are fully predictable from the underlying representation ftaal. For that reason we cannot speak of elision, but rather of insertion (Ibid).

Conclusion The occurrences and functions of the glottal stop are governed by a set of rules both in Arabic and English: -In English, [?] is found at the end of a syllable (mostly occurs in the coda position) and is preceded by a stressed syllable. -Although the English glottal stop is sometimes considered as an allophone of the voiceless plosive /t/, it does not occur in complementary distribution with the other allophones of this phoneme, but it only appears in free variation, i.e. there is no precise rule that regulates its occurrence. -It seems that there is also a free variation in using glottal replacement or glottal reinforcement in English. Moreover, such phenomena are affected socially and contextually by speakers of different accents.


-It is established that the glottal stop is not a phoneme in English, instead, it is sometimes considered as an allophone, while it is a phoneme in Arabic, in other words it is a sound that distinguishes one word from another. -Unlike English, Arabic glottal stop is represented by the writing system with the sign . The orthography of hamza shows that it is usually not written on its own but is supported by one of the consonants , or . The supporting consonant is known as the kursi chair of the hamza. - Arabic hamza is of two types: hamzatu l-qat' and hamzatu l-wasl. When occurring initially, the former ia deleted when preceded by another word while the latter is never deleted. A word like ?abun with the hamzatu l-qat' is therefore pronounced with the hamza when preceded by another word, while ?ibnun with the hamzatu lwasl is pronounced without the hamza in this context (li-?abun 'for a father', but li-bnun 'for son'). - Hamza in Arabic, was attested in all prosodic positions in Classical Arabic: word-initially, as in ?akal 'he ate'; intervocalically, as in sa?al 'he asked' and su?al 'question'; pre-consonantally, as in ra?s 'head'; post-consonantly, as in bad? 'begining'; and postvocalically, as in xadra? 'green f'. -The glottal stop has weakened in the majority of Arabic dialects due to the process of hamza dropping as words such as [ra?s] "a head" and [di?b] "a wolf" became [ras] and [dib].


-Two types of elision affect the glottal stop in Arabic, regular and irregular. The former is governed by specific rules while the latter is arbitrary. -The notion of insertion has been suggested by many linguists as an argument against that of elision. It states that hamza is actually inserted, rather than omitted, to avoid having consonant clusters initially in words as Arabic does not allow such occurrence.


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