Articulation of English Vowel Sounds by Pashto Speakers: A Contrastive Phonetic Analysis
Keywords: Phonetic Analysis Deviant Vowels RP PRAAT Pashto Speakers L1.
The present study aims at the vowels of two languages, i.e. English and Pashto, by conducting a contrastive phonetic analysis by looking into those deviant vowels in which the Pashto speakers face difficulty pronouncing while learning the language. The Pashto speakers tend to pronounce the vowels in the English language that are generally paralleled with Received Pronunciation (RP), revealing certain similarities as well as differences during the production of not only English short and long vowels as well in the words’ initial, medial and final positions of English in terms of both the height, i.e., the F1 formant frequencies and the backness, i.e., the F2 formant frequencies as exposed by the exploration of speech samples through Praat. Pashto native speakers with an English background can articulate such vowels /ə/(short) and /ɒ/, the same as near-natives, and the vowels /æ/, /ɪ/, and /ʌ/ almost native-like, but they cannot pronounce the short vowels /e/ and /ʊ/ like native speakers. Similarly, the long English vowels /ɪ:/, /ɑ:/, /u:/ posed no difficulty in pronunciation for Pashto speakers, whereas the long vowels /ɜ:/ and /ɔ:/ posed difficulty for them in English pronunciation. The vowel /ɜ:/ was difficult for Pashto speakers, who pronounce it slightly differently from the natives of RP. The study also recommends that in order to achieve correct English pronunciation of teachers teaching English at the college level should sufficiently guide the Pashto (L1 learners) of English in the articulation of English vowels and also necessary to expose them to the essentials of both similarities and differences of the vowels of Pashto and English languages keeping classroom ambience in consideration so that their obstacle of lucidness may be overcome for efficacious communication with English native speakers.
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Citation of this paper
Hussain, A., Ali, Z., & Khan, T. (2023). Articulation of English vowel sounds by Pashto speakers: A contrastive phonetic analysis. Erevna: Journal of Linguistics and Literature, 7(1), 14-30.