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Non-native Speech

A Corpus-based Analysis of Phonological and Phonetic Properties of L2 English and German


Ulrike Gut

Based on an innovative corpus-based approach, this book offers a comprehensive survey of the phonological and phonetic properties of L2 speech in English and German. The first part of the book critically examines current theoretical models and research methodologies in the field of second language acquisition of phonology and describes the advances that have been made in corpus linguistics over the past few years – in particular, the development of phonological learner corpora. It furthermore presents the first learner corpus of L2 English and L2 German that is fully aligned and has extensive phonological annotations: the LeaP corpus. The second part of the book describes the results of the quantitative and qualitative corpus analyses in the following areas of non-native speech: fluency, final consonant cluster realisation, vowel reduction and speech rhythm, intonation and general foreign accent. In addition, the influence of many non-linguistic factors, including instruction and a stay abroad, on the phonological properties of non-native speech is explored.


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3 Research methodology in non-native speech and the corpus-linguistic approach 39


3 Research methodology in L2 phonological acquisition and the corpus-linguistic approach This chapter addresses methodological issues in research on the phonological and phonetic properties of non-native speech. In section 3.1 it presents a survey of 172 empirical studies carried out in this area over the past 39 years, comparing them in terms of the phonological domain under investigation, research methodology (including study design, data collection and data analysis) and theoretical framework. Section 3.2 introduces the methodology of corpus- based research and describes different types of corpora. The advantages and disadvantages of a corpus-based approach in research on non-native speech are discussed in section 3.3, and some currently existing learner corpora are described in section 3.4. Section 3.5 summarizes the state of the art in research methodology in non-native speech. 3.1 A survey of research on non-native speech in the past 39 years Methodological issues in research on the phonological and phonetic properties of non-native speech cannot easily be separated from the development of interest in the various phonological domains. The focus of research in second language phonology determines the type of data collected and the method of data analysis. Likewise, the discovery and availability of new technologies have opened up new areas of interest and possibilities of research. Only after the advent of computers with sufficient storage capacity and inexpensive speech analysis software, for example, have fine-grained phonetic analyses of non- native speech (e.g. the length and quality of individual segments or the pitch contour of utterances) become possible. In...

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