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ERIC Number: EJ1004049
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Jun
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0023-8309
Perceptual Confusions of American-English Vowels and Consonants by Native Arabic Bilinguals
Shafiro, Valeriy; Levy, Erika S.; Khamis-Dakwar, Reem; Kharkhurin, Anatoliy
Language and Speech, v56 n2 p145-161 Jun 2013
This study investigated the perception of American-English (AE) vowels and consonants by young adults who were either (a) early Arabic-English bilinguals whose native language was Arabic or (b) native speakers of the English dialects spoken in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where both groups were studying. In a closed-set format, participants were asked to identify 12 AE vowels presented in /hVd/ context and 20 AE consonants (C) in three vocalic contexts: /[open back unrounded]C[open back unrounded]/, /iCi/, and /uCu/. Both native Arabic and native English groups demonstrated high accuracy in identification of vowels (70 and 80% correct, respectively) and consonants (94 and 95% correct, respectively). For both groups, the least-accurately identified vowels were /[open back unrounded]/, /[open-mid back rounded vowel]/, /raised open front unrounded/, while most consonant errors were found for /[vd dental fricative]/, which was most frequently confused with /v/. However, for both groups, identification of /[vd dental fricative]/ was vocalic-context dependent, with most errors occurring in /iCi/ context and fewest errors occurring in /uCu/ context. Lack of significant group differences suggests that speech sound identification patterns, including phonetic context effects for /[vd dental fricative]/, were influenced more by the local English dialects than by listeners' Arabic language background. The findings also demonstrate consistent perceptual error patterns among listeners despite considerable variation in their native and second language dialectal backgrounds. (Contains 4 tables and 1 note.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Arab Emirates