International Journal of
English and Literature

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. English Lit.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2626
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJEL
  • Start Year: 2010
  • Published Articles: 278

Full Length Research Paper

Pronunciation problems: Acoustic analysis of the English vowels produced by Sudanese learners of English

Ezzeldin Mahmoud Tajeldin Ali
Al –Baha University,Department of English language and literature,Faculty of Science and Arts, Saudi Arabia. 
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 13 May 2013
  •  Published: 31 December 2013

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to provide experimental evidence for certain linguistic causes of production errors of English spoken with Sudanese Arabic accent. The subjects of the study were expected to have problems with the production of English vowels in both individual words and real communication. Participants were ten Sudanese University learners of English who primarily speak Arabic. English vowel data are the materials of the native speakers of English. Based on acoustical analysis of the English vowel tokens spoken by both Sudanese and native speakers of (RP) English, the acoustical differences that would provide insights into the issue under concern were sought. The results indicated that most of the differences appeared in the area of central and back vowels of English. However, some of English tense – lax vowels showed no serious problems probably because there is correspondence between English and Arabic long /short vowels. Moreover, the production errors detected in this study followed different directions that suggest that the Sudanese learners of English had difficulty learning the English vowels. The main linguistic causes of these production errors were mother-tongue interference and lack of English knowledge. 

Key words: Error, acoustic analysis, vowel properties, interference, intelligibility, vowel space, automatic classification, normalization, duration.
 

Abbreviation

SPIN, Speech Perception in Noise; MRT, The Modified Rhyme Test; PS, Proto-Semitic; MSA, Modern Standard Arabic; SA, Sudanese Arabic; XL, Excel format; LPC, Linear Predictive Coding.