Acoustic Characterization of Singaporean Children’s English: Comparisons to American and British Counterparts

Yuling Gu, Nancy Chen


Abstract
We investigate English pronunciation patterns in Singaporean children in relation to their American and British counterparts by conducting archetypal analysis on selected vowel pairs. Given that Singapore adopts British English as the institutional standard, one might expect Singaporean children to follow British pronunciation patterns, but we observe that Singaporean children also present similar patterns to Americans for TRAP-BATH spilt vowels: (1) British and Singaporean children both produce these vowels with a relatively lowered tongue height. (2) These vowels are more fronted for American and Singaporean children (p < 0.001). In addition, when comparing /æ/ and /ε/ productions, British speakers show the clearest distinction between the two vowels; Singaporean and American speakers exhibit a higher and more fronted tongue position for /æ/ (p < 0.001), causing /æ/ to be acoustically more similar to /ε/.
Anthology ID:
W19-3627
Volume:
Proceedings of the 2019 Workshop on Widening NLP
Month:
August
Year:
2019
Address:
Florence, Italy
Venues:
ACL | WS | WiNLP
SIG:
Publisher:
Association for Computational Linguistics
Note:
Pages:
83–87
Language:
URL:
https://www.aclweb.org/anthology/W19-3627
DOI:
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