Prosodic and segmental contributions to accent

Second Language Speech Learning
Oganyan, Marina; Wright, Richard; McCullough, Elizabeth (2021). Comparing Segmental and Prosodic Contributions to Speech Accent. In R. Wayland (Ed.), Second Language Speech Learning: Theoretical and Empirical Progress (pp. 337-349). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/9781108886901.014

This study investigated phonetic correlates of accentedness in English for speakers of different native languages (L1), combining both segmental and supragemental measures in a single study.  Native speakers of English, Spanish, Hindi, Korean and Mandarin, were recorded reading English disyllabic words in isolation. Naive native English listeners scored the accentedness of the speech and the resulting accentedness scores were correlated with acoustic phonetic dimensions related to prosodic and segmental dimensions. Both prosodic and segmental phonetic properties were found to play a role in accent perception. Interestingly, different segmental or prosodic dimensions were found to show a stronger correlation in the differing L1 conditions indicating that the importance of a particular acoustic dimension to degree of accentedness must be viewed in the linguistic context of the speaker and hearer.

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