LINGUIST List 10.1004

Tue Jun 29 1999

Qs: Speech Science & L2, Negation

Editor for this issue: Karen Milligan <>

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  1. Cor9999, speech science and L2
  2. Pierre Larrivee, Not nobody! Not nohow!

Message 1: speech science and L2

Date: Sun, 27 Jun 1999 21:49:07 EDT
From: Cor9999 <>
Subject: speech science and L2

I am a grad student in linguistics at West Virginia University. I am about 
to begin research for my thesis on the application of speech science 
techniques to second language learning and was wondering if I could find a 
few pointers from all of you on the list. 
I am interested in determining what it is in the speech signal that triggers 
the perception of a foreign accent and what possible techniques could be used 
to change these elements of nonstandard pronunciations. I think that knowing 
exactly what it is that distinguishes "foreign" speech from "different but 
still native" speech could be very useful for language teachers and also for 
monolingual speech therapists who are often at a loss for what to do with 
foreign clients. For example, if certain suprasegmental errors were more 
likely to trigger the perception of accentedness in a given language than 
other segments or suprasegments, it would make sense to concentrate on those 
suprasegments first or most intensly.
Specifically, I will work with Spanish speakers with English as a second 
language (or vice versa). I plan on using spectrographic analysis and such 
to avoid the subjectivity and inaccuracies of phonetic transcriptions. 
Spectrographic analysis also creates an opportunity to give visual feedback 
to the learner which may prove very useful in changing their pronunciation 

I would be grateful for any information or suggestions any one has to offer 
on this topic. I will post a summary if I receive sufficient responses. 
Cori Kropf, WVU
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Message 2: Not nobody! Not nohow!

Date: Mon, 28 Jun 1999 12:40:10 +0100
From: Pierre Larrivee <Pierre>
Subject: Not nobody! Not nohow!

Dear Colleagues,

As I watched The Wizard of Oz yesterday, I noticed for the first time the
use of the double negation (with concord interpretation) sequence "Not
nobody! Not nohow!" used by the guard of Oz's castle to reinforce a
statement to the effect that the magician will not be seeing anybody. Now,
is this only a jocular use, or (as I suspect) does this sequence reflect a
possible use in some social or geographical variety of American (or other,
for that matter) English? And if it is attested, what about "Not nobody
will be received", "He will receive not nobody", or "He will not receive
nobody" (single negation intended in all cases) in the same varieties? I
would be very grateful if some of you were so kind as to be willing to
enlighten me on this.

Pierre Larrivee

Dr. Pierre Larrivee

Lecturer in French Linguistics
French Language Coordinator

School of Languages and European Studies
Aston University
Aston Triangle
Birmingham B4 7ET
United Kingdom

Tel +44 (0)121 359 3611 ext. 5454
Fax +44 (0)121 359 6153
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