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Urdu Vowel System and Perception of English Vowels by Punjabi-Urdu Speakers

Rehman, Ishrat (2019) Urdu Vowel System and Perception of English Vowels by Punjabi-Urdu Speakers. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent,. (KAR id:80850)

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Abstract

A well-defined vocalic and consonantal system is a prerequisite when investigating the perception and production of a second language. The lack of a well-defined Urdu vowel system in the multilingual context of Pakistan motivated investigation of the acoustic and phonetic properties of Urdu vowels. Due to the significant influence of a number of first languages, the study focuses on the Urdu spoken in Punjab, Pakistan. A production experiment reports the acoustic properties of the monophthongs and six diphthongs in Urdu. The results showed that Urdu distinguishes between short and long vowels, and lacks an open-mid front and an open-mid back vowel. Since the central vowel is fairly open and retracted, it appears that the central vowel space is empty. This was reflected in the difficulty of perceiving the central vowels of Standard Southern British English (SSBE) by Punjabi Urdu speakers. The acoustic and phonetic evidence partially supports the phonetic existence of diphthongs in Urdu. The acoustic investigation of the Urdu vowel system helped to predict the perceptual assimilation and classification patterns of SSBE vowels by Punjabi-Urdu speakers. A cross-language perceptual assimilation and a free classification experiment was conducted in three different consonantal contexts to test the predictions of three mainstream models of L2 perception: SLM, PAM and L2LP. The assimilation patterns in a cross-language and category goodness rating task varied according to familiarity with the target language. The patterns of perceptual assimilation failed to predict the perceptual similarity of the SSBE vowels in the auditory free classification task. Thus, the findings support the model predictions with regard to the role of L1; however acoustic similarities between L1 and L2 neither predict the patterns of cross-language perceptual assimilation nor perceptual similarity.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Arvaniti, Amalia
Thesis advisor: Chamorro, Gloria
Subjects: P Language and Literature
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of European Culture and Languages
SWORD Depositor: System Moodle
Depositing User: System Moodle
Date Deposited: 15 Apr 2020 14:07 UTC
Last Modified: 20 May 2021 13:25 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/80850 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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