An acoustic comparison of English monophthongs and diphthongs produced by Australian and Thai speakers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

This study investigated acoustic-phonetic characteristics of English vowels (four monophthongs /I æ u A/ and two diphthongs /ei ou/) spoken by native speakers of Australian English (AusE, n = 6) and Thai (T, n = 15). The Thai speakers had lived in Australia for an average of 3.2 years. While the Thai speakers did not differ significantly from the AusE speakers in their vowel quality for monophthongs, they were more dissimilar in their production of diphthongs. Specifically, the Thai speakers produced English diphthongs with less formant movement, a phenomenon widely reported for speakers of various other Southeast Asian languages. Differences between the Thai and AusE groups reached statistical significance for the female speakers. As for temporal characteristics, the Thai speakers produced significantly shorter monophthongs, but not diphthongs, than did the AusE speakers. As a result, the ratio of monophthongs to diphthongs was much smaller for the Thai (0.53) than for the AusE group (0.72). It appeared that the Thai speakers equated the English diphthongs /ei/ and /ou/ with the long vowels /e:/ and /o:/, respectively, in their first language (L1) Thai. Further, their production of the diphthongs may be related to a large number of diphthongs in the Thai vowel inventory, which may encourage its speakers to substitute existing L1 categories for the English diphthongs rather than forming authentic, new phonetic categories.

LanguageEnglish
Pages194-211
Number of pages18
JournalEnglish World-Wide
Volume29
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Fingerprint

phonetics
acoustics
statistical significance
language
Group
Acoustics
Monophthongs

Cite this

@article{09c79545b2b74043aa8ca54595202e8c,
title = "An acoustic comparison of English monophthongs and diphthongs produced by Australian and Thai speakers",
abstract = "This study investigated acoustic-phonetic characteristics of English vowels (four monophthongs /I {\ae} u A/ and two diphthongs /ei ou/) spoken by native speakers of Australian English (AusE, n = 6) and Thai (T, n = 15). The Thai speakers had lived in Australia for an average of 3.2 years. While the Thai speakers did not differ significantly from the AusE speakers in their vowel quality for monophthongs, they were more dissimilar in their production of diphthongs. Specifically, the Thai speakers produced English diphthongs with less formant movement, a phenomenon widely reported for speakers of various other Southeast Asian languages. Differences between the Thai and AusE groups reached statistical significance for the female speakers. As for temporal characteristics, the Thai speakers produced significantly shorter monophthongs, but not diphthongs, than did the AusE speakers. As a result, the ratio of monophthongs to diphthongs was much smaller for the Thai (0.53) than for the AusE group (0.72). It appeared that the Thai speakers equated the English diphthongs /ei/ and /ou/ with the long vowels /e:/ and /o:/, respectively, in their first language (L1) Thai. Further, their production of the diphthongs may be related to a large number of diphthongs in the Thai vowel inventory, which may encourage its speakers to substitute existing L1 categories for the English diphthongs rather than forming authentic, new phonetic categories.",
author = "Kimiko Tsukada",
year = "2008",
doi = "10.1075/eww.29.2.05tsu",
language = "English",
volume = "29",
pages = "194--211",
journal = "English World-Wide",
issn = "0172-8865",
publisher = "John Benjamins Publishing",
number = "2",

}

An acoustic comparison of English monophthongs and diphthongs produced by Australian and Thai speakers. / Tsukada, Kimiko.

In: English World-Wide, Vol. 29, No. 2, 2008, p. 194-211.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - An acoustic comparison of English monophthongs and diphthongs produced by Australian and Thai speakers

AU - Tsukada, Kimiko

PY - 2008

Y1 - 2008

N2 - This study investigated acoustic-phonetic characteristics of English vowels (four monophthongs /I æ u A/ and two diphthongs /ei ou/) spoken by native speakers of Australian English (AusE, n = 6) and Thai (T, n = 15). The Thai speakers had lived in Australia for an average of 3.2 years. While the Thai speakers did not differ significantly from the AusE speakers in their vowel quality for monophthongs, they were more dissimilar in their production of diphthongs. Specifically, the Thai speakers produced English diphthongs with less formant movement, a phenomenon widely reported for speakers of various other Southeast Asian languages. Differences between the Thai and AusE groups reached statistical significance for the female speakers. As for temporal characteristics, the Thai speakers produced significantly shorter monophthongs, but not diphthongs, than did the AusE speakers. As a result, the ratio of monophthongs to diphthongs was much smaller for the Thai (0.53) than for the AusE group (0.72). It appeared that the Thai speakers equated the English diphthongs /ei/ and /ou/ with the long vowels /e:/ and /o:/, respectively, in their first language (L1) Thai. Further, their production of the diphthongs may be related to a large number of diphthongs in the Thai vowel inventory, which may encourage its speakers to substitute existing L1 categories for the English diphthongs rather than forming authentic, new phonetic categories.

AB - This study investigated acoustic-phonetic characteristics of English vowels (four monophthongs /I æ u A/ and two diphthongs /ei ou/) spoken by native speakers of Australian English (AusE, n = 6) and Thai (T, n = 15). The Thai speakers had lived in Australia for an average of 3.2 years. While the Thai speakers did not differ significantly from the AusE speakers in their vowel quality for monophthongs, they were more dissimilar in their production of diphthongs. Specifically, the Thai speakers produced English diphthongs with less formant movement, a phenomenon widely reported for speakers of various other Southeast Asian languages. Differences between the Thai and AusE groups reached statistical significance for the female speakers. As for temporal characteristics, the Thai speakers produced significantly shorter monophthongs, but not diphthongs, than did the AusE speakers. As a result, the ratio of monophthongs to diphthongs was much smaller for the Thai (0.53) than for the AusE group (0.72). It appeared that the Thai speakers equated the English diphthongs /ei/ and /ou/ with the long vowels /e:/ and /o:/, respectively, in their first language (L1) Thai. Further, their production of the diphthongs may be related to a large number of diphthongs in the Thai vowel inventory, which may encourage its speakers to substitute existing L1 categories for the English diphthongs rather than forming authentic, new phonetic categories.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=44149098586&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1075/eww.29.2.05tsu

DO - 10.1075/eww.29.2.05tsu

M3 - Article

VL - 29

SP - 194

EP - 211

JO - English World-Wide

T2 - English World-Wide

JF - English World-Wide

SN - 0172-8865

IS - 2

ER -