I wrote this sentence (actually, part of it ;)

Similar problems may arise if a voiceless plosive /p/ is understood as a voiced plosive /b/ then a ‘pour’ becomes a ‘bore’. It is especially the case for the Arabic language where there is no sound for /p/.

I used "where" because I used "the case" before it. I hope it doesn't refer to the "Arabic language"?! does my construction convey what I mean?

Actually, I am asking about the reference of "where" in the sentence. Because a language is not a location! then it must refer to the "case". For example probably I couldn't say:

In Arabic where there is no sound for /p/, a "pour" may be perceived a "bore"

  • I don't understand your question. The sentence looks okay. It implies that in the Arabic there is no sound for /p/. Jul 9, 2015 at 18:30
  • @CopperKettle The question was about the reference of "where". But as the sentence seems Okey, I have no problem with it.
    – Ahmad
    Jul 9, 2015 at 18:37
  • 2
    I think "which has no /p/ sound" is better than "where there is no sound for /p/".
    – user230
    Jul 9, 2015 at 18:42
  • 1
    @CopperKettle yes thank you, meanwhile I edited my question, however you almost answered it.
    – Ahmad
    Jul 9, 2015 at 18:44
  • 1
    As kind of hinted at by @Copperkettle, where can replace in which or other prepositio phrases. Because we can use in which in your sentence, where is also good. Jul 10, 2015 at 12:56

1 Answer 1


That sentence sounds completely natural. You have used 'where' correctly.

Yes, it is referring to "the case". It's looking at a logical case or situation abstractly, as a location where you can be. Or, at thinking about that case as a location where your mind is.

Then, it's using the language you would use to describe the properties of a location:

I went to Germany last month, where they don't drink tap water.
I live in Colorado, where people ski a lot.
This is not the case in Iowa, where there are no mountains.

To speak less abstractly and more directly, you could say:

It is especially the case for the Arabic language, in which there is no sound for /p/.

This is less abstract because languages include sounds, so the sounds are in the language, but a language is not technically a place where things can be.

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