15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-15)

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003

"Engela's Eshes": Cross-Linguistic Perception and Production of English [æ] and [ɛ] by Czech EFL Learners Trained in Phonetics

Šárka Šimáčková

Palacký University Olomouc, Czech Republic

Studies of cross-language speech perception suggest that nonnative listeners make a greater use of duration in identifying and discriminating English vowels than native listeners do. Our first experiment investigates the role of duration as a cue in crosslinguistic identification of vowels [æ] and [ɛ] in natural and edited tokens of monosyllabic words. The subjects, Czech EFL learners, in whose L1 vowel length is phonemic, rely strongly on increased duration in identifying [æ] and cope poorly with temporal variability due to segmental context and computer editing. A complementary production experiment tests the efficiency of duration as a marker of [æ]-[ɛ] contrast in Czech pronunciation of English. The learners produce a difference that is statistically significant but relatively small.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Šimáčková, Šárka (2003): ""engela's eshes": cross-linguistic perception and production of English [æ] and [ɛ] by Czech EFL learners trained in phonetics", In ICPhS-15, 2293-2296.