The effects of Hong Kong L2 English speakers’ phonological features on listeners’ cognitive and affective perceptions
This study explores the most perceivable phonological features of Hong Kong (HK) L2 English speakers and how they affect the perception of HK L2 English speech from the perspective of both native and non-native English listeners. Conversational interviews were conducted to collect speech data from 20 HK speakers of English and 10 native speakers of English in the United Kingdom. Phonological features of 20 HK speakers of English were analyzed at both segmental and suprasegmental levels. Forty listeners with different language backgrounds were recruited to listen and rate the speech samples of the 20 HK speakers of English in terms of the cognitive perception of foreign accentedness and comprehensibility and affective perception of likability and acceptability. This study identifies the phonological variables that contribute significantly to listeners’ perception of accentedness, comprehensibility, likability, acceptability, and overall impression of HK speakers’ English speech.
Keywords: speech production and perception, second language pronunciation, foreign accent
Published online: 04 July 2019
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