This study investigates several acoustic correlates of the phonetic realizations of [θ] produced by Serbian speakers of English. The impressionistic phonetic transcriptions and aural perception accounts indicate that Serbians have difficulty pronouncing the English non-sibilant [θ] segment accurately. It is reported (Dimitrijevic-Savic & Jerotijevic, 2011; Koffi, 2015a) that they substitute [t], [f], [s], and [ts] for [θ]. The present study uses an acoustic phonetic methodology to investigate how Serbians pronounce this segment. Speech samples from seventeen native Serbian speakers are investigated. These samples are part of George Mason University Speech Accent Archive. Spectrographic and acoustic measurements are provided for 5 words from the elicitation paragraph that contain the digraph represented in the IPA by [θ]. Words containing [θ] in initial position are . The only word in text that ends with [θ] is . The acoustic correlates of intensity, duration, VOT, and COG are examined for 85 occurrences of . The results show that [θ] is substituted by the voiceless dental stop [t] 49% of the time, by the affricate [tʃ] 7%, and 1% by the flap [ɾ]. The acoustic measurements indicate that Serbian speakers rely on intensity more than duration and Center of Gravity in determining which segments to substitute for [θ]. The substitute segments are all very similar in intensity with [θ] in GAE.
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Dr. Ettien Koffi
"An Acoustic Phonetic Analysis of Different Realizations of [θ] in Serbian-Accented English,"
Linguistic Portfolios: Vol. 5
, Article 7.
Available at: http://repository.stcloudstate.edu/stcloud_ling/vol5/iss1/7