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Abstract

This study provides an acoustic analysis of Montenegrin vowels, in order to make a comparison with the already existing measurements of General American English (GAE) vowels. Also, a production analysis is done on Montenegrin (MTN) learners of English, which shows the vowels that are the most problematic in their L2 pronunciation. In addition to this, a two-way perception study was conducted with the participants. American native English speakers listened to 11 GAE vowels produced by Montenegrin speakers of English, and tried to indicate which vowels they heard, while Montenegrin speakers of English did the same after listening to native GAE speakers. The study shows that some vowels are easy for Montenegrin speakers to produce and perceive. However, certain vowels (e.g., the ones that are present in English, but not in Montenegrin) cause problems for participants in both production and perception analysis. This research helps determine the causes of miscomprehension between native speakers of GAE and Montenegrin EFL learners. These findings can help learners and teachers of ESL/EFL provide better quality instruction for Montenegrin learners by giving them more information on the problematic differences in the vowel systems of Montenegrin and English.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Faculty Supervisor

Ettien Koffi

Author Bio

Ivana Lucic has recently been admitted to Iowa State University as a PhD student in Applied Linguistics and Technology. Her main research interests are related to phonetics, phonology, and pronunciation. As a native speaker of Montenegrin, she is eager to provide such research on the Balkan languages. Email: lucic.ivana@gmail.com.

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