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Title: The articulatory correlates of Singapore English vowels
Authors: Lin, Jingmin
Keywords: Humanities::Linguistics::Phonetics
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: Nanyang Technological University
Source: Lin, J. (2021). The articulatory correlates of Singapore English vowels. Master's thesis, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
Abstract: Existing research on the vowel system of Singapore English has been limited to acoustic examination and analyses only. The present study thus aims to supplement this area of research by providing articulatory descriptions of the Singapore English vowels, specifically looking at lingual and laryngeal articulation. This is achieved by visualising and recording the tongue and larynx during natural, running speech (a picture description task), through the use of ultrasound imaging. With the articulatory data collected, we sought to address a few main questions: (1) What the extent of merger in the long-short and /e/-/æ/ vowel pairs in Singapore English is, both in terms of acoustics and articulation; (2) How advanced /u/-fronting is in Singapore English, if at all; and (3) Whether larynx height varies systematically as a function of vowel quality—even in naturalistic speech. Data analysis revealed that the extent of acoustic merger in the vowel pairs was not as advanced as indicated in previous studies, and there appears to be some differentiation through lingual (and to some extent, laryngeal) articulation in these vowel pairs. We also found that /u/ is produced with a relatively central position in Singapore English, rather than being fully ‘back’ as traditionally expected. Lastly, the ranking of vowels according to vertical larynx position is surprisingly consistent with past findings despite the nature of our data, and we posit that laryngeal articulation may be actively employed in order to augment the acoustic difference between /e/ and /æ/ in Singapore English.
DOI: 10.32657/10356/155448
Schools: School of Humanities 
Rights: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
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