Event Title

Foreign Accent Sources in the Vowels of Highly Proficient Bilingual Korean-English Speakers

Mentor 1

Hanyong Park

Start Date

16-4-2021 12:00 AM

Description

Foreign accent perception is an important area of study in the field of Linguistics. This project seeks to analyze several acoustic characteristics of vowels in order to determine if highly fluent bilingual Korean speakers of English carry any measurable difference in their vowels that might contribute to a noticeable accent. Speech samples were recorded from 5 monolingual English speakers and 5 highly proficient bilingual Korean-English speakers, and the samples were analyzed using the Praat speech analysis software. In the samples, formant values and movement, vowel duration, and fundamental frequencies were recorded for five different monophthongs and one diphthong, /æ/ /i/ /ɔ/ /u/ /ɑ/ and /eɪ/, and compared between the two groups. If there is a significant difference between the two groups, then further perception experiments can be done using the same samples in a perception experiment to test whether or not native English listeners can detect a foreign accent in words that differ only by the vowel. Because some of the Korean-English bilinguals in this study have spoken English since birth, it would raise important questions about what makes a native accent “native” if there are significant differences between production and perception of the vowels between the two groups.

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Apr 16th, 12:00 AM

Foreign Accent Sources in the Vowels of Highly Proficient Bilingual Korean-English Speakers

Foreign accent perception is an important area of study in the field of Linguistics. This project seeks to analyze several acoustic characteristics of vowels in order to determine if highly fluent bilingual Korean speakers of English carry any measurable difference in their vowels that might contribute to a noticeable accent. Speech samples were recorded from 5 monolingual English speakers and 5 highly proficient bilingual Korean-English speakers, and the samples were analyzed using the Praat speech analysis software. In the samples, formant values and movement, vowel duration, and fundamental frequencies were recorded for five different monophthongs and one diphthong, /æ/ /i/ /ɔ/ /u/ /ɑ/ and /eɪ/, and compared between the two groups. If there is a significant difference between the two groups, then further perception experiments can be done using the same samples in a perception experiment to test whether or not native English listeners can detect a foreign accent in words that differ only by the vowel. Because some of the Korean-English bilinguals in this study have spoken English since birth, it would raise important questions about what makes a native accent “native” if there are significant differences between production and perception of the vowels between the two groups.