Acoustic Analysis of English Vowel Sounds: A Comparison of Malaysian and Native English Speakers’ Pronounciation

Pages 12-17

  • Josephine O. Edwards
  • Nor Aisyah Zulkornain

Abstract

The production of vowel sounds has been proven to differ from one person to another due to differences in tongue position and the shape of the vocal tract. It is however very interesting to note that significant similaries and differences can be observed from one region to the other. In this paper, we highlight how Malaysians produce English vowels in comparison with the American and British production of the same vowels. We employ the qualitative approach with samples including three Malaysian speakers who were recorded producing specific sounds. The formants of the vowels were analysed using PRAAT version 4.4.20. The average of the results obtained were then compared with established American and British formants for English sounds. Findings show that Malaysians typically produced vowel sounds with a wider vocal tract and they are not very conscious of vowel duration in their pronunciations. It is also important to note that the results of the analysis showed that the Malaysian production of English vowels is closer to the American than the British production of same. These findings can assist Malaysian teachers in Teaching of English as Second Language (TESL) in their classroom focus. It can also assist TESL learners in focusing on these areas in their speaking.

Published
2019-10-23