An Articulatory-Acoustic Investigation into GOOSE-Fronting in German-English Bilinguals Residing in London, UK

Scott Lewis, Adib Mehrabi, Esther de Leeuw


This study explores L2 acquisition of socially conditioned phonetic variation in 13 German-English sequential bilinguals residing in London, UK. The phonetic variable analysed is GOOSE-fronting, i.e. the more front pronunciation of /u/ in words like ‘goose’, acoustically manifested through an increased F2 frequency. In the South of England, GOOSE-fronting is a sound change considered to be led by young females. We investigated whether bilinguals adhered to this pattern, e.g. whether younger female German-English bilinguals exhibited a relatively higher F2 frequency in words like ‘goose’ than other bilinguals. The bilinguals’ English /u/ productions were compared against their German /u/ (lower F2 as more back) and /y/ (higher F2 as more front) to determine the degree of GOOSE-fronting and whether their F2 values were closer to /y/ than /u/. Normalised formant values were considered in relation to lingual measurements obtained using ultrasound tongue imaging. The acoustic and articulatory results revealed that female bilinguals indeed produced more front English /u/ vowels than their male counterparts. Within female speakers, age and length of residence in the UK were found to be significant, with younger speakers who had lived in the UK longer than five years displaying the greatest degree of GOOSE-fronting.


 DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2019-2637

Cite as: Lewis, S., Mehrabi, A., Leeuw, E.D. (2019) An Articulatory-Acoustic Investigation into GOOSE-Fronting in German-English Bilinguals Residing in London, UK. Proc. Interspeech 2019, 3544-3548, DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2019-2637.


@inproceedings{Lewis2019,
  author={Scott Lewis and Adib Mehrabi and Esther de Leeuw},
  title={{An Articulatory-Acoustic Investigation into GOOSE-Fronting in German-English Bilinguals Residing in London, UK}},
  year=2019,
  booktitle={Proc. Interspeech 2019},
  pages={3544--3548},
  doi={10.21437/Interspeech.2019-2637},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/Interspeech.2019-2637}
}