Korean L2 Learners’ Perception of English Front Vowels, /ɛ/ and /æ/

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Joo, Hyunjung
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서울대학교 인문대학 영어영문학과
영학논집, vol. 37, pp. 109-126
vowel perception/ɛ/ and /æ/Kyungsang dialectJeolla dialectEnglish proficiencygender
Previous studies have explored how L2 Korean learners of English acquire English vowels, which is not the same as the vowels in their L1 phoneme inventory and what factor affects the discrimination of the vowels. The present study aims to investigate whether Korean L2 learners of English perceive the distinctiveness between two English front vowels, /ɛ/ and /æ/ and whether three factors – gender, difference between dialects, and English proficiency – influence on the perception of the vowels. Sixteen participants were divided into three groups of male or female, Kyungsang dialect or Jeolla dialect speaker, and high proficient or low proficient speaker. They heard the stimuli consisting of the words with the four front vowel pairs, /ɛ - ɛ/, /ɛ - æ/, /æ - ɛ/, and /æ – æ/ recorded by a female English native speaker from the U.S. Then, they were required to click the ‘same’ or ‘different’ button when they heard the same or different pairs of the stimuli. Taken together, the overall result shows that both Kyungsang and Jeolla dialect speakers discriminated /ɛ/ and /æ/, while the factors of gender, dialect, and English proficiency had no meaningful significance.
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College of Humanities (인문대학)English Language and Literature (영어영문학과)영학논집(English Studies)영학논집(English Studies) No.37 (2017)
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