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Rana Almbark
Research Associate



Rana Almbark is a Research Fellow in the Department of Language and Linguistic Science, University of York. She is working with Professor Sam Hellmuth on DiVaL project (Dialect Variation in the Levant 2021-2022). This project is funded by the York ESRC Impact Acceleration Account in collaboration with Lancaster University, to collect a corpus of speech data with speakers of Levantine Arabic dialects. Rana’s first degree was in English Language and Literature at Alhussein Bin Talal University in Jordan. She had her MA and PhD in Linguistics at the University of York.


  • Newcastle University
    Research Associate (2021)
  • University of Chester
    Lecturer in Linguistics (2018-2020)
  • University of Huddersfield
    Lecturer in Phonetics and phonology (2016-2017)
  • University of York
    Postdoctoral Research Assistant (2012-2016)



My main interest is experimental phonology. I am interested in exploring the phonetics and phonology of dialectal Arabic within the frame of modern phonological theories. I am interested in exploring the sociophonetic variation among Arabic dialects in a multilingual contact situation. 

I am also interested in exploring L2 phonetic and phonological patterns of Arabic learners of English in terms of perception and production. In particular, I am interested in exploring the effects of the L1 on English as an L2, as well as the effects of L2 English on the L1. 

Additionally, I am interested in multilingualism and home language maintenance.


  • Dialectal Variation in the Levant 'DiVaL' (2021-2022)

    I work as a research associate with Professor Sam Hellmuth (PI). This project is funded by the York ESRC Impact Acceleration Account in collaboration with Lancaster University, to collect a corpus of speech data with speakers of Levantine Arabic dialects.  

  • Intonational Variation in Arabic (2012-2016)

    I was a postdoctoral research assistant working with Professor Sam Hellmuth (PI). The Intonational Variation in Arabic project was funded by ESRC. This project adapted methodology previously used to document intonational variation in English, to generate an open-access corpus of Arabic speech in eight geographically defined spoken Arab dialects.


  • Aleppo University/Syria (studentship funding MA and PhD in Linguistics) – (2007-2012)

External activities


  • British Association of Academic Phoneticians (BAAP)
  • International Phonetic Association (IPA)

Invited talks and conferences

  • Almbark, R. (2019). Syrian Arabic - describing and maintaining a "new" language in Europe. Invited talk at Osnabrück University, Germany.


  • Bruggeman, A., Louriz, N., Almbark, R., & Hellmuth, S. (2020). Acoustic correlates of lexical stress in Moroccan Arabic. Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 1-25. doi:10.1017/S002510032000002X
  • Almbark, R., Bouchhioua, N., & Hellmuth, S. (2019). Is there an interlanguage intelligibility benefit in perception of English word stress? Loquens, 16(1).
  • Bouchhioua, N. Hellmuth, S. & Almbark, R. (2019). Variation in prosodic and segmental marking of yes-no questions in Tunisian Arabic. In studies on Arabic dialectology and sociolinguistics, ed. C. Miller, A. Barontini, M. A. Germanos, J. Guerrero et C. Pereira (eds).  Proceedings of the 12th International Conference of AIDA, Marseille June 2018.
  • Almbark, R. & Hellmuth, S. (2015). Acoustic analysis of the Syrian vowel system. The 18th I CPhS, Glasgow, United Kingdom.
  • Hellmuth, S., Almbark, R., Chlaihani, B. & Louriz, N. (2015). F0 peak alignment in Moroccan Arabic polar questions. The 18th ICPhS, Glasgow, United Kingdom.
  • Almbark, R. (2014). Perception and production of SSBE vowels by foreign language learners: towards a Foreign Language Model. Proceedings of the International Symposium on the Acquisition of Second Language Speech: Concordia Working Papers in Applied Linguistics. Concordia University, Volume 5, (pp 3-18).
  • Almbark, R. (2011). Production and perception of SSBE vowels by Syrian Arabic speakers. In Achievements and in Perspectives SLA of Speech: New Sounds 2010, ed. Magdalena Wrembel, Małgorzata Kul & K. Dziubalska-Kołaczyk, 15-26. Peter Lang: International Verlag der Wissenschaften.

Contact details

Rana Almbark
Research Associate
Department of Language and Linguistic Science