Linguistic dimensions of second language accent and comprehensibility

Dustin Crowther, Pavel Trofimovich, Talia Isaacs
  • Journal of Second Language Pronunciation, January 2016, John Benjamins
  • DOI: 10.1075/jslp.2.2.02cro

Linguistic dimensions of second language accent and comprehensibility

What is it about?

Previous studies interested in second language (L2) pronunciation have primarily investigated perceived accentedness and extent of understanding through the use of native speakers of the target language. In our study, we extend this research to include the perception of fellow L2 speakers of English (two groups: French, Chinese). We found that while the three groups of listeners (native, French, Chinese) did not differ in how they scored each individual speech sample, the two L2 groups appeared to make different linguistic considerations when coming to their rating decision.

Why is it important?

Through globalization, English now serves as a global lingua franca, beyond what any language has previously achieved. As such, nonnative speakers are more likely to engage in English-medium conversations with fellow nonnative speakers than native. It is imperative that we continue to investigate the ways in which such speakers are able to attain mutual intelligibility during such interactions.

The following have contributed to this page: Talia Isaacs and Dustin Crowther