Presentation

The Acoustic Phonetics of Voiced Th in Seven Varieties of L2- Accented English: Focus on Intelligibility

Author
  • Ettien Koffi (St. Cloud State University)

Abstract

The voiced interdental non-sibilant fricative [ð] produced by 10 native speakers of General American English (GAE) and 67 non-native speakers of English is analyzed quantitatively and acoustically. The quantitative data shows that GAE talkers produced [ð] accurately 88.09% of the time, substituted it with [d̪ ] 2.38%, and with [n̪ ] 9.52%. L2 talkers pronounced it accurately 47.51% of the time, substituted it with [d̪ ] 44.27%, with [z] 4.22%, with [s] 1.74%%, with [ɾ] 1.4%, and with [θ] .99%. A closer scrutiny of the distributional patterns reveals that all the substitutions occurred only in syllable onsets, but not intervocalically. An acoustic phonetic analysis indicates that [d̪ ] is by far the preferred substitute for [ð] because their intensities are perceptually indistinguishable. A relative functional load (RFL) analysis is done also to gauge the likelihood of unintelligibility if/when [ð] is replaced by [d̪ ], [z], or [v].

How to Cite:

Koffi, E., (2015) “The Acoustic Phonetics of Voiced Th in Seven Varieties of L2- Accented English: Focus on Intelligibility”, Pronunciation in Second Language Learning and Teaching Proceedings 7(1).

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Published on
01 Jan 2016
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