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The Acquisition of English Vowels by Javanese and Sundanese Native Speakers

Cite as:

Perwitasari, A (Leiden University) (): The Acquisition of English Vowels by Javanese and Sundanese Native Speakers. DANS. https://doi.org/10.17026/dans-z3v-25xs

2018-09-28 Perwitasari, A (Leiden University) 10.17026/dans-z3v-25xs

The current study aims to examine to what extent the properties of the vowel system in the first language interfere with the second language acquisition of American English for American English L2 learners who exhibit a smaller L1 vowel inventory than that of English, and to what extent they might have problems in producing L2 vowels and, therefore, are predicted to have difficulties with perceiving and producing English sounds (e.g. vowels).

We analyzed whether mouse-tracking responses were influenced by the phonetic distance between the two response vowels and whether the stimulus vowel was new or similar. Because there were only new vowels for Distance 1, this level of distance was excluded from the analyses. Hence, we performed an RM-ANOVA with Distance (level 2-5), Category (new, similar) and Group (native, non-native) as independents for every dependent variable (error rate, Area Under the Curve (AUC), initiation time, reaction time and velocity profiles). Responses with a reaction time exceeding 2000 ms (6.23% of the total responses) were excluded from the analysis. Two participants’ responses were discarded from subsequent analysis of the Area Under the Curve (AUC) because their responses deviated more than 3 SDs from the grand mean.

Auditory stimuli comprised of ten American English vowels, /iː/, /ɝ/, /ɑː/, /ɔː/, /uː/, /ɪ/, /ɛ/, /æ/, /ʌ/, and /ʊ/, in two consonantal contexts, /bVd/ such as bead and bid and /hVd/ such as heed and hid, were produced in the carrier sentence: Click bead, please or Click heed, please. Each stimulus was recorded using Praat (version 5.5.04) at 44.1 kHz and produced by a single male native speaker of English originating from New York. He was asked to read out loud auditory stimulus items, which include English vowels. The target stimuli were composed of 35 minimal pairs (see Table 3.3). Pairs of stimuli were presented in a random order without repetitions. The visual target stimuli were letter strings presented using MouseTracker. One letter string appeared in the top left corner and the other in the top-right corner. The mouse movements were recorded at a sampling rate of 60 Hz. The display resolution was set to 1024 x 768 pixels.

Information about the software used and its role in the construction of the raw data files can be found as a relation in the metadata under the tab 'description'.