English Vowel Pronunciation by Native Speakers of Bunschoten-Spakenburgs Dialect contrasted with Standard Dutch: An Experimental Linguistic Study
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This paper examines vowel pronunciation in English speech by speakers of Bunschoten-Spakenburgs Dialect (BSD) and compares this with English speech by speakers of Standard Dutch (SD). BSD diverges from SD in several notable ways. These divergences were described by Scholtmeijer (1996). This paper hypothesises that the differences between these two varieties of the Dutch language should also cause correlated differences in the pronunciation of English by speakers of the two varieties. An elicitation task was conducted in which the pronunciation of English by speakers of BSD and speakers of Standard Dutch was recorded and analysed using Praat (Boersma and Weenink 2014). Vowel length, together with the first and second formants (F₁ and F₂), was measured for 18 test items containing /ɑː, ɛ, æ, uː/ and /əʊ/. This led to a number of findings regarding the realised vowels. Younger speakers of BSD produced a closer GOOSE vowel, a more open back version of PALM and GOAT, and a more open vowel in items containing TRAP and DRESS than the young speakers of SD. The adult speakers of BSD realised a more open GOOSE and a closer PALM (joined in some cases by GOAT). While GOOSE showed no direct connection, the realisations of PALM, GOAT, TRAP and DRESS in their respective English contexts exhibited traits similar to those of BSD with regard to vowel length and the formants.