World Englishes and Issues of Intelligibility
A Phonetic Approach
The aim of the present study is to investigate the native speakers' connected English speech and its phonetic features such as assimilation, elision, linking and r-Realization along with the role of such features in matters pertaining to the intelligibility of native speaker’s connected English speech. The study is of prime significance and relevant in today’s context of globalization and global communication. In the course of the study, twenty subjects have been selected from two inner circle countries: UK and USA with 10 subjects in each group and their speech specimens were recorded. The 20 subjects were the speakers of the study. For examining the intelligibility of native speaker’s connected English speech, the recorded speech samples of the 20 subjects were played to 200 listeners from outer circle countries and expanding circle countries with 10 listeners for each country. The test material of the study consisted of 10 short dialogues and a two-minute free speech rendered by each of the 20 subjects. The data was analyzed phonetically and perceptually. The phonetic description and transcription of the speech specimens was done based on the researcher auditory impressions. Listeners could understand British speech better than American speech, according to findings about American and British speakers. The study can be used in the ELT (English Language Teaching) and language planning studies too. Assimilation, elision, linking, and r-Realization are definitely playing a major role with regards to the issue of intelligibility. The intelligibility scores and the connected speech parameters are of great help for teachers of English, policy makers of English language education and the findings of this study will prove to be beneficial for native and non-native English speakers.
ISBN 9783969390337. LINCOM Studies in English Linguistics 23. 132pp. 2021.