Capstone/Dissertation Title

Differences in articulation that native speakers of English identify when listening to my Spanish-accented English: do I say shibboleth or sibboleth?





Degree Name



This capstone is a self study on the author's foreign-accented English. The need for this study began when the author was unable to have native English speakers critique his accentedness in casual conversations. The author searched for fundamental variables affecting mainstream Unitedstateans' perceptions of accented speakers as well as some of the consequences of being a foreign-accented individual in the US. Key influences included the author's linguistic experience in Venezuela observing and imitating Italian-accented Spanish. Using a voice recording, ten already-acquainted native English speakers evaluated the author's performance in English. Evaluators were asked to mark emphasis, softening, substitution, and deletion of phonetic segments. The author's expectations included finding proof of Transfer of articulatory habits from Spanish based on the assumptions posed by Contrastive Analysis. Results show that the author's awareness of his potential Spanish accentedness led him to develop an atypical accentedness that does not resemble common Spanish accentedness.

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