S-Space College of Humanities (인문대학) English Language and Literature (영어영문학과) SNU Working Papers in English Language and Linguistics SNU Working Papers in English Language and Linguistics Vol.11 (2013)
An Abbreviation : The Factors Affecting Its Pronunciation
- Kim, Boyoung
- Issue Date
- SNU Working Papers in English Linguistics and Language, Vol.11, pp. 49-61
- English language incorporates countless abbreviations in its vocabulary stock, and yet the factors contributing to reading them as a word–acronym -- or a series of letters – initialism – have not yet been clearly defined. This paper aims to investigate which factors bear more importance in determining the choice between the two options. An experiment was conducted with 27 native speakers of English, all of whom are working as English teachers in Korea. The participants of the experiment were asked to read various abbreviations which were purposely chosen to be unfamiliar and indicate their choice in a multipleoption questionnaire. The results of the study have revealed that there exists a scale of priority among the intervening factors, the primary one being the phonotactic plausibility. Other factors to be considered were homograph avoidance and length. Overall, pronunciation patterns revealed from the study are ascribed to speakers desire to facilitate articulation.