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"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more



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Query Details


Query Subject:   speech science and L2
Author:   Cori Kropf
Submitter Email:  click here to access email

Linguistic LingField(s):  Phonetics
Phonology

Query:   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
habits.

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.
Thanks!
Cori Kropf, WVU
LL Issue: 10.1004
Date posted: 29-Jun-1999



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