Second language timing patterns and their effects on native listeners’ perceptions

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This study, an extended study of Chen and Chung (2008), investigates the difficulties encountered by Taiwanese learners in English speech timing patterns and identifies critical variables that affect native listeners’ perceptions of foreign accents. A total of 30 Taiwanese learners and 10 native speakers of American English were requested to read an article. Six variables—syllable duration, vowel reduction, pause duration, linking, consonant cluster simplification, and speech rate—were acoustically analyzed in five sentences. Ten English listeners were recruited to rate these speech samples. The results of this study showed that the Taiwanese learners displayed very different speech patterns according to the six acoustic variables from those of native English speakers. The perceptual ratings of the six individual variables exhibited a very strong positive correlation with the overall ratings, suggesting that timing patterns were a more holistic impression rather than a discrete component. Speech rate was the primary predictor determining native listeners’ perception of foreign accent. If this overall fluency variable was excluded, then vowel reduction and linking duration became the two most heavily weighted variables. A temporal perception model was tentatively proposed to account for the effects of timing variables on native English listeners’ judgment of foreign accents.
本論文為陳和鍾 (2008) 之延伸研究,旨在探討台灣英語學習者對習得美式英語語音時長類型之困難,並瞭解影響英語母語人士評定外國口音之關鍵變項。計三十位台灣英語學習者以及十位英語母語人士,各自唸出一篇診斷式文章,從而擷取其中五句不同句型之句子加以分析六個時長變項,其中包括音節長度、母音弱化、停頓時長、連音時長、子音串時長、以及說話速度。另十位母語人士評分者根據收集的四十人的語音資料,分別對六個時長變項及一個整體的口音印象加以評分。主要結果顯示從聲學測量得知,台灣英語學習者之音節時長類型和英語母語人士極為不同。根據人工感知評分,六個個別時長變項和整體的口音印象有非常高的正相關,顯示語音時長類型或韻律是整體的印象,人類的聽覺難以抽離為單獨成分。藉由聲學測量的說話速度是最主要外國口音的預測變項,當不包含這個有關整體流利度的變項時,母音弱化和連音時長二者為母語人士偵測外國口音最重要的依據。根據以上發現,本研究嘗試提出外國口音時長感知模式,藉以釐清影響母語人士對非母語人士口音反應最重要的語音或音韻因素。 Copyright © 2010 國立台灣師範大學英語系.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-212
JournalConcentric: Studies in Linguistics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2010


Chen, H.-C. (2010). Second language timing patterns and their effects on native listeners’ perceptions. Concentric: Studies in Linguistics, 36(2), 183-212.


  • Rhythm patterns
  • Acoustic phonetics
  • Interlanguage phonology
  • Timing phenomena
  • Production and perception
  • 時長現象
  • 節奏型態
  • 聲學語音學
  • 中介語音韻學
  • 產出與感知
  • Alt. title: 第二語言時長類型以及其對母語人士感知之影響


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