15th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

September 14-18, 2014

Dutch Vowel Production by Spanish Learners: Duration and Spectral Features

Pepi Burgos (1), Mátyás Jani (2), Catia Cucchiarini (1), Roeland van Hout (1), Helmer Strik (1)

(1) Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, The Netherlands
(2) Pázmány Péter Catholic University, Hungary

In this paper we present a study on Dutch vowel production by Spanish learners that was carried out within the framework of our research on Computer Assisted Pronunciation Training (CAPT). The aim of this study was to obtain detailed information on production of Dutch vowels by Spanish learners, which can be employed to develop effective CAPT programs for this specific target group. We collected speech from learners with varying proficiency levels (A1 - B2 of the CEFR), which was transcribed, segmented and acoustically analyzed. We present data on the frequency of pronunciation errors and on detailed analyses of duration and acoustic properties of the vocalic realizations. The results indicate that Spanish learners of Dutch have difficulties in realizing several Dutch vowel contrasts and that they differ from native speakers in the way they employ duration and spectral properties to realize these contrasts. We discuss these results in relation to those of previous studies on Dutch vowel perception by Spanish listeners and relate them to current theories on speech learning.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Burgos, Pepi / Jani, Mátyás / Cucchiarini, Catia / Hout, Roeland van / Strik, Helmer (2014): "Dutch vowel production by Spanish learners: duration and spectral features", In INTERSPEECH-2014, 529-533.