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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; ESSN: 2231-8534


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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Additional Metadata

Item Type: Article
Subject: English language - Vowels.
Subject: English language - Vowels - Study and teaching.
Divisions: Faculty of Modern Language and Communication
Publisher: Universiti Putra Malaysia Press
Keywords: Repreentations; English front vowels; Malay-English bilinguals
Depositing User: Ms. Nida Hidayati Ghazali
Date Deposited: 16 Aug 2012 01:56
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2015 02:56
URI: http://psasir.upm.edu.my/id/eprint/16521
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