Pronunciation problems: Acoustic analysis of the English vowels produced by Sudanese learners of English.



The purpose of this study was to provide experimental evidence for certain linguistic causes of production errors of English spoken with Sudanese Arabic accent. The subjects of the study were expected to have problems with the production of English vowels in both individual words and real communication. Participants were ten Sudanese University learners of English who primarily speak Arabic. English vowel data (Deterding 1997) has presented the material of the native speakers of English. Based on acoustical analysis of the English vowel tokens spoken by both Sudanese and native speakers of (RP) English, the acoustical differences that will provide insights of the issue under concern were sought. Our results indicate that most of the differences lie in the area of central and back vowels of English. However, some of English tense – lax vowels showed no serious problems probably because there is correspondence between English and Arabic long /short vowels. Moreover, the production errors detected in this study followed different directions which suggest that the Sudanese learners of English do not show a clear learning pattern. The main linguistic causes of the production errors of English vowels produced by Sudanese university learners of English are mother-tongue interference and lack of English knowledge.

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