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Jeong, H., Thorén, B. & Othman, J. (2017). Mutual intelligibility of Malay- and Swedish-accented English: An experimental study. Indonesian Journal of Applied Linguistics, 7(1), 43-53
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Mutual intelligibility of Malay- and Swedish-accented English: An experimental study
2017 (English)In: Indonesian Journal of Applied Linguistics, ISSN 2301-9468, Vol. 7, no 1, p. 43-53Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In using English as an international language (EIL), one important issue is mutual intelligibility among EIL speakers from different language backgrounds. The present study investigates the crosslinguistic intelligibility of Malay-accented English and Swedish-accented English, regarding the three phonetic features – word stress pattern, consonant clusters, and long vowel in particular. We prepared 15 English statements that are evidently true or false if understood, and examined to what extent the three phonetic features are related to 30 Swedish and 38 Malaysian listeners’ understandings of the statements read by a speaker from the other language group. We compared the Malaysian and Swedish listeners’ answers given with understanding as well as processing time to respond. The listeners’ own accounts of their struggles in understanding the speakers’ pronunciations were also analyzed. Results show that Malaysian listeners easily understood Swedish-accented English, while Swedish listeners struggled to understand Malay-accented English. The difference between the two groups of listeners seems to be closely related to the degree of the realization of the three phonetic features by the speakers as well as to the degree of the use of these features as perceptual cues by the listeners. Based on the findings, we discuss potential phonetic core features of EIL for intelligibility and some pedagogical implications for teaching English pronunciation to the learners of the language.

Keywords
EIL; intelligibility of EIL pronunciation; phonetic core features; Malay-accented English; Swedish-accented English
National Category
Languages and Literature
Research subject
Education and Learning
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:du-25253 (URN)10.17509/ijal.v7i1.6857 (DOI)2-s2.0-85020096407 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2017-06-20 Created: 2017-06-20 Last updated: 2017-06-20
Abelin, Å. & Thorén, B. (2017). The Perceptual Weight of Word Stress, Quantity and Tonal Word Accent in Swedish. In: Elena Babatsouli and David Ingram (Ed.), Phonology in Protolanguage and Interlanguage: (pp. 316-341). Equinox Publishing
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Perceptual Weight of Word Stress, Quantity and Tonal Word Accent in Swedish
2017 (English)In: Phonology in Protolanguage and Interlanguage / [ed] Elena Babatsouli and David Ingram, Equinox Publishing, 2017, p. 316-341Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

When teaching the pronunciation of an additional language, the teacher should know which properties to give high priority and which to give lower priority. The present study aims at ranking the perceptual weight among the three phonemic prosodic contrasts of Swedish, namely word stress, quantity and tonal word accent. In two experiments, native Swedish subjects were presented with several disyllabic sequences; intact words, nonsense words and words that were distorted with respect to the three prosodic contrasts. The distorted words were not members of minimal pairs. In addition to intact words and non-word distractors, subjects heard originally trochaic words pronounced with iambic stress pattern and vice versa, originally /VːC/ words pronounced as /VCː/ and originally accent I words pronounced with accent II and vice versa. Listeners should decide whether the words were real words or not. The result shows that words with changed word accent category were rather easy to identify, words with changed stress pattern harder to identify, and changed quantity category caused most problems.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Equinox Publishing, 2017
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Research subject
Education and Learning
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:du-25894 (URN)9781781795644 (ISBN)9781781796481 (ISBN)
Available from: 2017-08-28 Created: 2017-08-28 Last updated: 2018-01-13Bibliographically approved
Thorén, B. & Jeong, H. (2016). Difference in L1 and L2 speakers’ temporal realizations of Swedish stressed syllables. In: : . Paper presented at New Sounds konferens i Århus, Danmark i juni 2016.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Difference in L1 and L2 speakers’ temporal realizations of Swedish stressed syllables
2016 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Difference in L1 and L2 speakers’ realizations of Swedish phonological length.

Swedish has a trading temporal relation between the vowel and consonant in stressed syllables (in either form of /V:C/ or /VC:/), which makes all stressed syllables long. Displaying this stress feature correctly can be one important condition for L2 speakers of Swedish to be well understood (Abelin & Thorén 2015), since duration is the major perceptual cue for stress (Fant & Kruckenberg, 1994). The paper presents a study that examined whether there is a difference between the pronunciations of L1 and L2 Swedish speakers, in terms of the duration ratio between the phonologically long segment and the whole word. It was predicted that at least the minimum value of the variation would be greater among L1 speakers than L2 speakers. Sixty-two L2 speakers and thirty-two L1 speakers were recorded when pronouncing three Swedish words with /VC:/ quantity. The data included reading aloud by the L2-speakers and reading aloud in normal, solemn and poetic style by the L1-speakers. While the L2 speakers spoke each word once, some of the L1 speakers did plural times, producing fifty different versions. The relative duration of the phonologically long sound is a measure suggested here to be relevant for both stress and quantity realization. Although preliminary, the results confirmed the prediction: the native Swedish speakers have higher mean value for ratios than non-native speakers, and the both minimum and maximum values for L1-speakers are higher than the corresponding values for L2-speakers. This value distribution indicates that L1 Swedish speakers pronounce longer stressed syllables than L2-speakers do, when measured against the duration of the whole word. Based on the findings, the study suggests that duration exaggeration of phonologically long segments can be used when teaching pronunciation to L2 learners of Swedish, raising their awareness of both stress and quantity distinctions.

Abelin, Å. & Thorén, B. (2015) What affects recognition most – wrong word stress or wrong word accent? Proceedings of Fonetik 2015, Working papers in General Linguistics and Phonetics, Lund, 7–10. ISSN: 0280-526X

Fant, G. & Kruckenberg, A. (1994) Notes on stress and word accent in Swedish STL-QPSR 2-3/1994, 125-144

Keywords
Svenskt uttal, svensk prosodi
National Category
Specific Languages
Research subject
Education and Learning
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:du-23792 (URN)
Conference
New Sounds konferens i Århus, Danmark i juni 2016
Available from: 2016-12-30 Created: 2016-12-30 Last updated: 2018-01-13Bibliographically approved
Jeong, H. & Thorén, B. (2016). Do Malay and Swedish speakers of English understand each other well? Cross-linguistic comparison for using English as an international language (EIL) [i] Malaysia is a multilingual country where other languages beside Malay, the official language, are spoken. In our study we focus on Malaysian English users whose first language is Malay.. In: : . Paper presented at Fourth International Conference on Linguistics, Literature and Culture. Penang, Malaysia. 28-29 September 2016.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Do Malay and Swedish speakers of English understand each other well? Cross-linguistic comparison for using English as an international language (EIL) [i] Malaysia is a multilingual country where other languages beside Malay, the official language, are spoken. In our study we focus on Malaysian English users whose first language is Malay.
2016 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In using English as an international language (EIL), one important issue is the mutual intelligibility of the pronunciations of EIL speakers from different language backgrounds. The present study examines the cross-linguistic intelligibility of Malay English and Swedish English. We prepared 15 English statements (evidently true or false if understood), and examined how well 30 Swedish and 38 Malay listeners understand the statements spoken by a speaker from the other language group by comparing the number of correct answers and processing time. We also analyzed the listeners’ own accounts of their struggles in understanding the speakers’ pronunciations. Results show that Swedish listeners struggled significantly more to understand the Malaysian speaker compared to Malaysians listening to the Swedish speaker. This seems to be because the Malaysian speaker did not clearly realize certain phonetic features, such as word stress pattern, consonant cluster and long vowel. Based on the findings, we discuss the core features of EIL pronunciation for intelligibility, and suggest further attestation and investigation on the concerned matter.

Keywords
English as an international language (EIL), the intelligibility of L2 pronunciation, Lingua Franca core features, Malay English, Swedish English
National Category
Specific Languages
Research subject
Education and Learning
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:du-23794 (URN)
Conference
Fourth International Conference on Linguistics, Literature and Culture. Penang, Malaysia. 28-29 September 2016
Available from: 2016-12-30 Created: 2016-12-30 Last updated: 2018-01-13Bibliographically approved
Thorén, B. (2016). Kärnan i uttalsundervisning: Vad bör lärare prioritera? (1ed.). In: Björn Kindenberg (Ed.), Flerspråkighet som resurs – Symposium 2015: (pp. 55-65). Stockholm: Liber
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Kärnan i uttalsundervisning: Vad bör lärare prioritera?
2016 (Swedish)In: Flerspråkighet som resurs – Symposium 2015 / [ed] Björn Kindenberg, Stockholm: Liber, 2016, 1, p. 55-65Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [sv]

Den som undervisar i uttal varken kan eller bör ta på sig att arbeta bort alla former av brytning. Vissa faktorer när det gäller uttal är mer prioriterade än andra, och vissa är ovidkommande för det som är överordnat vid kommunikation, nämligen förståelsen. I detta kapitel redogör författaren för vad som utmärker tal och uttal, som en bakgrund till så kallade kärnegenskaper vid uttals- undervisning.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Liber, 2016 Edition: 1
National Category
Specific Languages
Research subject
Education and Learning
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:du-24490 (URN)978-91-47-12207-3 (ISBN)
Available from: 2017-03-04 Created: 2017-03-04 Last updated: 2018-01-13Bibliographically approved
Abelin, Å. & Thorén, B. (2015). The relative perceptual weight of two Swedish prosodic contrasts. In: Elena Babatsouli, David Ingram (Ed.), Proceedings of the International Symposium on Monolingual and Bilingual Speech 2015: . Paper presented at THE INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON MONOLINGUAL AND BILINGUAL SPEECH 2015 (pp. 1-7). Chania 73100, Greece: Institute of Monolingual and Bilingual Speech
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The relative perceptual weight of two Swedish prosodic contrasts
2015 (English)In: Proceedings of the International Symposium on Monolingual and Bilingual Speech 2015 / [ed] Elena Babatsouli, David Ingram, Chania 73100, Greece: Institute of Monolingual and Bilingual Speech , 2015, p. 1-7Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Abstract. In addition to 9 vowel and 18 consonant phonemes, Swedish has three prosodic phonemic contrasts: word stress, quantity and tonal word accent. There are also examples of distinctive phrase or sentence stress, where a verb can be followed by either an unstressed preposition or a stressed particle. This study focuses on word level and more specifically on word stress and tonal word accent in disyllabic words. When making curriculums for second language learners, teachers are helped by knowing which phonetic or phonological features are more or less crucial for the intelligibility of speech and there are some structural and anecdotal evidence that word stress should play a more important role for intelligibility of Swedish, than the tonal word accent. The Swedish word stress is about prominence contrasts between syllables, mainly signaled by syllable duration, while the tonal word accent is signaled mainly by pitch contour. The word stress contrast, as in armen [´arːmən] ‘the arm’ - armén [ar´meːn] ‘the army’, the first word trochaic and the second iambic, is present in all regional varieties of Swedish, and realized with roughly the same acoustic cues, while the tonal word accent, as in anden [´anːdən] ‘the duck’ - anden [`anːdən] ‘the spirit’ is absent in some dialects (as well as in singing), and also signaled with a variety of tonal patterns depending on region. The present study aims at comparing the respective perceptual weight of the two mentioned contrasts. Two lexical decision tests were carried out where in total 34 native Swedish listeners should decide whether a stimulus was a real word or a non-word. Real words of all mentioned categories were mixed with nonsense words and words that were mispronounced with opposite stress pattern or opposite tonal word accent category. The results show that distorted word stress caused more non-word judgments and more loss, than distorted word accent. Our conclusion is that intelligibility of Swedish is more sensitive to distorted word stress pattern than to distorted tonal word accent pattern. This is in compliance with the structural arguments presented above, and also with our own intuition.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Chania 73100, Greece: Institute of Monolingual and Bilingual Speech, 2015
Keywords
second language pronunciation, intelligibility, word stress, tonal word accent
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Research subject
Education and Learning
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:du-20794 (URN)978-618-82351-0-6 (ISBN)
Conference
THE INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON MONOLINGUAL AND BILINGUAL SPEECH 2015
Available from: 2016-01-18 Created: 2016-01-18 Last updated: 2018-01-10Bibliographically approved
Thorén, B. (2015). Turning a didactic experience into science and back: teaching Swedish pronunciation to adult immigrants. In: Eva Lindgren and Janet Enever (Ed.), Språkdidaktik: Researching Language Teaching and Learning (pp. 105-112). Umeå: Department of Language Studies, Umeå University
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Turning a didactic experience into science and back: teaching Swedish pronunciation to adult immigrants
2015 (English)In: Språkdidaktik: Researching Language Teaching and Learning / [ed] Eva Lindgren and Janet Enever, Umeå: Department of Language Studies, Umeå University , 2015, p. 105-112Chapter in book (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Department of Language Studies, Umeå University, 2015
Series
Umeå Studies in Language and Literature ; 26
National Category
Specific Languages
Research subject
Utbildning och lärande
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:du-17962 (URN)978-91-7601-194-2 (ISBN)
Available from: 2015-06-16 Created: 2015-06-16 Last updated: 2018-01-11Bibliographically approved
Abelin, Å. & Thorén, B. (2015). What affects recognition most – wrong wordstress or wrong word accent?. In: Malin Svensson Lundmark, Gilbert Ambrazaitis and Joost van de Weijer (Ed.), Proceedings of Fonetik 2015, Lund University, Sweden: . Paper presented at Fonetik 2015, 8-10 juni, Lund (pp. 7-10). , 55
Open this publication in new window or tab >>What affects recognition most – wrong wordstress or wrong word accent?
2015 (English)In: Proceedings of Fonetik 2015, Lund University, Sweden / [ed] Malin Svensson Lundmark, Gilbert Ambrazaitis and Joost van de Weijer, 2015, Vol. 55, p. 7-10Conference paper, Published paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In an attempt to find out which of the two Swedish prosodic contrasts of 1) wordstress pattern and 2) tonal word accent category has the greatest communicative weight, a lexical decision experiment was conducted: in one part word stress pattern was changed from trochaic to iambic, and in the other part trochaic accentII words were changed to accent I.Native Swedish listeners were asked to decide whether the distorted words werereal words or ‘non-words’. A clear tendency is that listeners preferred to give more‘non-word’ responses when the stress pattern was shifted, compared to when wordaccent category was shifted. This could have implications for priority of phonological features when teaching Swedish as a second language.

Series
Working Papers Department of Linguistics and Phonetics Centre for Languages and Literature, ISSN 0280-526X ; 55
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Research subject
Education and Learning
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:du-18110 (URN)
Conference
Fonetik 2015, 8-10 juni, Lund
Available from: 2015-06-22 Created: 2015-06-22 Last updated: 2018-01-11Bibliographically approved
Thorén, B. (2014). Svensk fonetik för andraspråksundervisningen. Stockholm: Vulkan
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Svensk fonetik för andraspråksundervisningen
2014 (Swedish)Book (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Vulkan, 2014. p. 116
Keywords
Fonetik, Svenska som andraspråk, uttalsundervisning
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Research subject
Utbildning och lärande
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:du-19172 (URN)978-91-637-6378-6 (ISBN)
Available from: 2015-08-29 Created: 2015-08-29 Last updated: 2018-01-11Bibliographically approved
Thorén, B. (2013). Dags att skrota "lång och kort vokal" inom svenska som andraspråk. In: Björn Bihl, Peter Andersson, Lena Lötmarker (Ed.), Svenskans beskrivning 32, 2011: . Paper presented at Svenskans beskrivning 32 Förhandlingar vid trettioandra sammankomsten för svenskans beskrivning. Karlstad den 13-14 oktober 2011. (pp. 296-304). Karlstad
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Dags att skrota "lång och kort vokal" inom svenska som andraspråk
2013 (Swedish)In: Svenskans beskrivning 32, 2011 / [ed] Björn Bihl, Peter Andersson, Lena Lötmarker, Karlstad, 2013, p. 296-304Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [sv]

I sektionsföredraget presenteras argument för att se svenskans långa och korta språkljud ur ett betoningsperspektiv snarare än ur ett vokalperspektiv, när svenskt uttal undervisas för andraspråksinlärare. Argument som presenteras är av pedagogisk-strategisk och av strukturell-empirisk karaktär. Så till exempel tar jag upp att andraspråksinlärare som ska lära sig svenskt uttal kan ha andra behov än svenska barn (med ett perfekt infött uttal) som ska lära sig stava. De infödda svenska barnen har en inlärd känsla för hur längd fördelas mellan vokal och konsonant i betonade stavelser. Därför kan fokus på ”lång/kort vokal” vara en framkomlig väg när dessa barn ska lära sig enkel- och dubbelteckning av konsonanter i skrift.  Vidare är det genom studier och ”anekdotisk konsensus” känt att svenska ord med korrekt ljudföljd blir i stort sett obegripliga då betoningen hamnar på fel stavelse. Detta har undersökts av främst Bannert (1987) men många känner till ramsor i stil med ”mulétt, kulétt, illá vulétt idé dödáss vilórum” som är ett försök att transkribera en konsekvent felbetoning av ”mulet, kulet illa vulet i de dödas vilorum”. Slutsatsen av Bannerts försök och den upplevda obegripligheten hos felbetonade ord är att betoning av rätt stavelse i ord bör prioriteras högt inom uttalsundervisningen.

 

Ett antal studier genom tiderna visar att ordbetoning i svenska realiseras främst genom ökad varaktighet hos betonade stavelser i jämförelse med obetonade. Den ökade varaktigheten gäller naturligtvis även stavelser med fonologiskt kort vokal, varvid den komplementära vokal-konsonantlängden i betonade svenska stavelser gör att första stavelsen i t.ex. händerna förlängs med hjälp av /n/-ljudet. Eftersom svenskans betoning så tydligt realiseras genom ömsom vokal- och ömsom konsonantlängd, faller det sig naturligare att betrakta längden som något som följer av betoning och inte först och främst en egenskap hos svenska vokaler.

 

Vidare sätts det svenska betonings- och längdsystemet in i ett tvärspråkligt perpektiv, där vi påminns om att många språk dels har ”fast betoning”, dels kanske inte har någon distinktiv längd alls, eller i många fall en distinktiv längd som inte överensstämmer med det svenska systemet.

 

Ytterligare argument och forskningsresultat kommer att framföras för att även tona ner den pedagogiska betydelsen av den välkända spektrala kvalitetsskillnaden mellan lång och kort vokalallofon. Denna är beroende av regional varietet och även av vilka vokalfonem det gäller. Till sist presenteras en tänkbar undervisningsstrategi baserad på de rön som redovisats.

 

Referenser

Bannert, R. (1987), From Prominent Syllables to a Skeleton of Meaning: a Model of Prosodically Guided Speech Recognition. In Proceedings of the XIth ICPhS Tallinn, (s 73-76)

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlstad: , 2013
Keywords
Svenska som andraspråk, uttalsundervisning, prosodi, kvantitet, betoning
National Category
Specific Languages
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:du-17204 (URN)978-91-7063-490-1 (ISBN)
Conference
Svenskans beskrivning 32 Förhandlingar vid trettioandra sammankomsten för svenskans beskrivning. Karlstad den 13-14 oktober 2011.
Available from: 2013-04-22 Created: 2015-03-26 Last updated: 2018-01-11Bibliographically approved
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0001-7966-320X

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