The aims of this project are to analyse:
1) the extent of glottalization before word-initial vowels in German English productions and compare results with Czech English and British English productions,
2) the influence of glottalizations on word-recognition by Germans in comparison to Czech and native English subjects,
3) the influence of glottalizations on the perception of foreign accent by native English speakers.
Research will be based on my previous work on glottalizations in Czech English. Glottalizations are sounds produced by the closing and abrupt opening of the vocal folds. In German and Czech, glottalizations are frequent before word-initial vowels and are a salient word-linking technique. In English glottalizations are less frequent. My previous analyses have shown that Czech speakers transfer this word-linking habit to their English productions and that glottalizations influence word recognition differently for Czech, English and Spanish subjects.
Glottalizations will be analysed in German English productions and perception experiments will be carried out with German subjects, to investigate the influence of glottalizations on word recognition. Results will be compared to those previously obtained for Czech speakers.
To test the influence of glottalizations on the perception of foreign accent, German English and Czech English data will be presented to native English subjects in perceptual experiments. If glottalizations contribute to the perception of accentedness, it would be useful to develop methods to teach non-natives how to overcome this characteristic in their pronunciation.
At the Institute of Acoustics and Speech Communication of the Technical University in Dresden, I will be able to acquire new research competences on the resynthesis of speech, necessary to create the stimuli for the planned perception experiments. The project will reinforce my research abilities and be beneficial for my research career in the field of second language speech.
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