Speech perception test for Arabic-speaking children

Translated title of the contribution: Speech perception test for Arabic-speaking children

Liat Kishon-Rabin*, Judith Rosenhouse

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The high incidence of hearing impairment in the Arabic-speaking population in Israel, as well as the use of advanced aural rehabilitation devices, motivated the development of Arabic speech assessment tests for this population. The purpose of this paper is twofold. The first goal is to describe features that are unique to the Arabic language and that need to be considered when developing such speech tests. These include Arabic diglossia (i.e., the sharp dichotomy between Literary and Colloquial Arabic), emphatization, and a simple vowel system. The second goal is to describe a new analytic speech test that assesses the perception of significant phonological contrasts in the Colloquial Arabic variety used in Israel. The perception of voicing, place, and manner of articulation, in both initial and final word positions, was tested at four sensation levels in 10 normally-hearing subjects using a binary forced-choice paradigm. Results show a relationship between percent correct and presentation level that is in keeping with articulation curves obtained with Saudi Arabic and English monosyllabic words. Furthermore, different contrasts yielded different articulation curves: emphatization was the easiest to perceive whereas place of articulation was the most difficult. The results can be explained by the specific acoustical features of Arabic.

Translated title of the contributionSpeech perception test for Arabic-speaking children
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-277
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Audiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2000


  • Arabic
  • Performance-intensity functions
  • Phonologically significant contrasts
  • Speech pattern contrasts
  • Speech tests


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