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Perception of Foreign Accent by Nonnative Speakers

ФИО: Мартынова Е. М.

Направление: Гуманитарные науки

Научный руководитель: доц. Сухова Н.В.

Институт: Институт базового образования

Кафедра: Кафедра Русского и иностранного языков и литературы

Академическая группа: ЛГ 13-3

Foreign-accented speech is generally defined as a unit of three related, but independent dimensions: intelligibility, comprehensibility, and accent. [Atagi 2011: 260] In the present study I intend to particularly focus on the last dimension. The aim of my research is to investigate perception of foreign accent by nonnative raters, to distinguish the most salient perceptual characteristics on the one hand, and find possible ways of diminishing this accent in spontaneous L2 English speech.

Foreign accent distinguishes a nonnative speaker from a native one. In language testing practices accent is commonly assessed by raters. And this study investigates what exactly nonnative raters of accent take into account when judging L2 speech. The most evident features that allow recognizing a nonnative speaker have commonly been phonemic errors, misplacement of stress and wrong intonation contours.

In this study I confine myself to L2 acquisition. Thus, the participants are Russian-speaking students and professors. The investigation has two main goals. The first one is to advance the understanding of the concept of accent as one of the characteristics of L2 speech. The second goal is to try to discover the way of reducing accent in the speech of Russian students.

References:

1. Atagi E., & Bent T., (2011). Perceptual dimensions of nonnative speech // Proceedings of the 17th International Congress of Phonetic Studies, 17–21 August 2011. – pp. 260-263.