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Evaluating the lingua franca core and functional load principle based on Swedish listeners' perception on L2 speakers’ English phoneme realisation
University West, Department of Social and Behavioural Studies, Division for Educational Science and Languages.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1058-7637
University West, Department of Social and Behavioural Studies, Division for Educational Science and Languages.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7966-320x
2019 (English)In: Abstract Booklet: International Symposium on the Acquisition of Second Language Speech / [ed] Phonetic Society of Japan, 2019, article id 12A1Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In teaching and assessing pronunciation of English as an international lingua franca (ELF), intelligibility is more relevant than nativelikeness (Jenkins, 2015). As guidelines for intelligible ELF pronunciation, the Lingua Franca Core (LFC) syllabus (Jenkins, 2002) and relative functional load (FL) of phonemic contrasts (e.g., Catford, 1987) have been used (e.g., Jeong et al., 2018; Rahimi & Ruzrokh, 2016; Sewell, 2017).The paper examines phonemic details in the LFC and relative FL, based on the intelligibility of second language speakers’ phoneme realisation for Swedish university students. Using the perception of a group of Swedish youths for the study can be rationalised that they are known to have very high proficient English skills as a second language (Norrby, 2015). Speech data with IPA transcriptions were from the Speech Accent Archive (http://accent.gmu.edu/index.php), comprising nine speakers’ readings of the same text, whose first languages were Arabic, French, German, Japanese, Russian, Somali, Thai, Turkish and Urdu respectively. Each of seventy-five Swedish students taking university courses chose and transcribed one of the nine speakers in English orthography. Through comparing errors in the listeners’ transcriptions, their accounts, and the speakers’ segmental features deviating from either American or British English phoneme inventory, we firstly analysed whether, and to what extent such deviation affected intelligibility. From this analysis, some details of the LFC and relative FL were questioned. For example, while the LFC denotes that all consonants besides interdental fricatives need to be realised as in Standard American/British English, replacing some consonants with others, like plural marking /z/ with /s/ or alveolar /ɹ/ with uvular / ʁ/, did not compromise intelligibility. Likewise, while the ɔ/oʊ contrast is known to have high FL, replacing one with the other did not cause misunderstanding (e.g. realising ‘only’ as [ɔnli]). The findings suggest further scrutinising and developing the LFC and relative FL.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. article id 12A1
Keywords [en]
Phoneme realisation in ELF, Swedish youths' perception, the Lingua Franca Core (LFC), relative Functional Load (FL) of phonemic contrasts, Evaluating LFC and FL
National Category
Languages and Literature General Language Studies and Linguistics
Research subject
HUMANITIES, Linguistics; Child and Youth studies; HUMANITIES, English
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-14389OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hv-14389DiVA, id: diva2:1349395
Conference
The 9th International Symposium on the Acquisition of Second Language Speech, August 30th - September 1st, 2019, Waseda University, Tokyo Japan
Available from: 2019-09-09 Created: 2019-09-09 Last updated: 2019-11-13Bibliographically approved

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Jeong, HyeseungThorén, Bosse

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