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Abstract

This paper is an analysis of our participant’s (Ibrahim) vowel data compared to the vowel data provided by Peterson and Barney (1952) for General American English (GAE). The participant’s vowels were recorded using a Logitech Webcam C300, and analyzed with the free program, Praat, and website, Norm (http://ncslaap.lib.ncsu.edu/tools/norm). The data taken were the first two vowel formants and duration. The purpose of such a project is in understanding variation, as well as intelligibility. The degree to which Ibrahim’s vowels vary from GAE provides insight into his idiolect as a language learner. In addition, Koffi (2012) explains that differences in F1 frequencies of greater than 135 Hz and F2 frequencies of 170 Hz result in intelligibility issues. Therefore, if the vowels are markedly different from the standards described in the Peterson and Barney (1952) study, it could result in unintelligibility. Another factor impacting intelligibility is vowel merging. This separate issue will also be analyzed. Finally, pedagogical implications and applications will be discussed.

Faculty Supervisor

Dr. Ettien Koffi

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