Acoustic Variations in Native and Non-native English Vowel Contrasts


  • Rabeah Saeed Kiani PhD Scholar, Department of Englsh, Air University, Islamabad
  • Uzma Anjum Associate Professor, Department of English, Air University Islamabad


Native English Variety, Non-nativ English, Vowels, Acoustics


This study examines eleven English monophthongs (/i:/, /?/, /e/, /æ/, /?/, /?:/, /?/, /?:/, /?/, /u:/, /?:/) produced by Pakistani non-native English speakers. The aim is to compare the acoustic properties of Pakistani English vowels with those of British English vowels, focusing on F1 and F2 measurements. Data was collected from voice recordings of twenty students (10 males, 10 females) studying at BS level in different departments of Quaid-e-Azam University Islamabad. For native data, the formants (F1 and F2) of eleven pure vowels from RP (Standard Southern British SSB) were extracted, and selected from Deterding (1997). The measurements were made using Praat spectrograms for each vowel which were repeated five times by all L2 speakers, and their average is taken for this study for more accurate results. These measurements were taken from a frame sentence, allowing comparison with previous formant values measured from citation-connected speech. The study postulated that there are two distinct English varieties of Pakistani non-native English speakers' vowels and Received Pronunciation (RP), which are expected to exhibit dissimilarities. The study also examined the acoustic variations of male and female speakers within the group of second language (L2) speakers. The study revealed that the vowels produced by male participants were significantly different in the measurements in connected speech than female speakers. This initial investigation confirmed disparities in the attributes of English vowels among Pakistani individuals and native English speakers.