A prospectus for pronunciation research in the 21st century
A point of view
This inaugural issue of the Journal of Second Language Pronunciation, an auspicious step forward in our field, gives us an opportunity to take stock of current trends in pronunciation research with an eye to the future of this evolving field. As longtime researchers, we have learned many lessons by trial and error and wish to share our perspectives on sound methodological practices and on pitfalls to avoid. Our review follows the outline of a traditional experimental investigation, starting with the conceptualization of pronunciation research studies. We then discuss theoretical motivations, choice of constructs, and issues arising from the literature review. Next we compare several research designs and summarize types of data commonly used in pronunciation research. We then move on to consider data collection and analysis, focusing on reliability, effect sizes, and speaker variability, and to offer some caveats regarding the interpretation of results. We conclude by suggesting areas for future second language speech research, in terms of both replications and new studies.
Keywords: L2 pronunciation, historical development, intelligibility, second language writing, infrastructure, comprehensibility, accent
Published online: 30 March 2015
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