The predictive quality of segmental sound analysis of nonnative L2 pronunciation on the global level of foreign accent.

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This study focused on the language domain of phonology and in particular on the topic of pronunciation of L2 learners. The study researched foreign (L2) accent of late Dutch L2 learners of English. It zoomed in on the segmental and global level of foreign accent to look at native and non-native L2 pronunciation to research whether there is a relationship between the two different levels of foreign accent. Moreover, the study researched if the performance at the segmental level is predictive of the outcome of the global level of foreign accent. For the segmental level of foreign accent, the study looked at the production of consonants and vowels and used acoustic and spectral measures for the analyses. Sound segments of the consonants and vowels, which represent common pronunciation errors for Dutch L2 learners of English, were chosen to be researched. These sound segments with the corresponding words are: cheese /z/-/s/, feather /ð/-/d/, back /æ/-/ɛ/ and potato /ə/-/oʊ/. For the global level of foreign accent, the study used a text passage as speech mode and native speakers of English acted as raters to assess the foreign global accent of the non-native speakers. The participants did not undergo any perceptual or production phonetic training on either segmental or global level. Moreover, participants were chosen that lived in the L1 environment at the time of testing. The results of the study found a linear relationship between the four words (cheese, feather, back, potato) and the text passage ratings. This means that the study found that performance at the segmental level of Dutch L2 speakers of English predicted the outcome of the global level of foreign accent.
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