S-Space Language Education Institute (언어교육원) Language Research (어학연구) Language Research (어학연구) Volume 39 Number 1/4 (2003)
An Acoustic Study of the American English Pronunciation of Recently Arrived Korean Adult Immigrants
- Kim, Ji Eun; David, J. Silva
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 언어교육원
- 어학연구, Vol.39 No.3, pp. 613-637
- acoustic phonetics; English as a Second Language; interference; Korean; length of residence; vowel
- This research examines the production of English high and mid front vowels (/iɪ e ɛ/) by three groups of male Korean speakers whose length of residence in the United States has been relatively short: less than 1 year, 1-5 years, and 5-8 years. Acoustic analyses reveal several statistically significant differences among the three groups. For example, the high front vowels /i/ and /ɪI of the 'less than 1 year' group are significantly lower in front tongue constriction than the other groups. Furthermore, the 'less than 1 year' and '1-5 years' groups produce American English /i/ with a shorter duration than that of the '5-8 years' group. When these L2-English production data are compared to those of the corresponding native Korean vowels / i e ɛ/, one finds interference effects: both the degree of fronting for English /i/ and /ɪ/ as well as the duration of English /i/ exhibit Korean-like characteristics. While these results confirm that Ll transfer effects can be documented in the English-language pronunciation of recently arrived Koreans, they are noteworthy in that they suggest that there is a significant reduction of these Ll interference effects in a relatively short period of time.