Arabic has played a central role in the development of phonological theory, with the challenge of describing its complex and interacting alternations spurring theoretical developments from the cycle to variants of Optimality Theory. The phonetic study of these alternations, however, has attracted less attention. In this talk, I give an overview of one controversial topic in phonetic research, the incomplete phonetic neutralization of contrasts, in which evidence from Arabic has only recently begun to enter the decades-old debate. I propose that patterns of phonetic neutralization are affected by the root-and-pattern morphology of Arabic, and may shed light on lexical organization in such systems.
See you there!