>Could it be of interest that the Arabic letter names ka:f and qa:f have
>prescribed pronunciations with very different vowels, ka:f having the long
>counterpart of Eng. man (which actually is long in most varieties of
>English), while qa:f has the vowel of Eng. call or crawl? Great variation
>is expected in systems with few phonemes.
In contemporary "Classical" Arabic pronunciation, short /a/ is pronounced as
back [A] (instead of as [æ] or [E]) in the neighborhood of emphatic /s./, /d./,
/t./, /z./, as well as uvular /q/, the velar fricatives /x/ and /G/, and the
Miguel Carrasquer Vidal mcv@...