Representation of english front vowels by Malay-English bilinguals.
Yap, Ngee Thai and Wong, Bee Eng and Abdul Aziz, Adi Yasran (2010) Representation of english front vowels by Malay-English bilinguals. Pertanika Journal of Social Sciences & Humanities, 18 (2). pp. 379-389. ISSN 0128-7702
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This paper presents the results of a study conducted to investigate the representation of English vowels among Malay-English bilingual speakers. The study focused on five front vowels of English. There is a tense-lax contrast in high- and mid-vowels in English (Davenport and Hannahs, 2005; Fromkin, Rodman and Hyams, 2003), but this contrast does not exist anywhere in Malay (Nik Safiah et al., 2008). Thus, a forced choice identification task is constructed with PRAAT (Boersma and Weenick, 2009). Stimuli for the experiment were synthesized using the AT&T text-to-speech demo programme available from AT&T Labs. The values of the first and second formants of the vowels were checked to make sure that they were within the range given in the literature. Fifty-two Malay-English bilingual undergraduates participated in this study. The results showed that Malay-English bilinguals have only three categories of contrast for the front vowels. These results show that the vowel representation of the second language in Malay-English bilinguals is similar to the representation of vowels in the first language.
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