Edited by Juan-Andrés Villena-Ponsoda, Francisco Díaz Montesinos, Antonio Manuel Ávila-Muñoz and Matilde Vida-Castro
[Studies in Language Variation 22] 2019
► pp. 119–132
Dialectometry has traditionally been examined from the perspective of the dialects and accents of a single language or related languages. However, foreign accents still remain understudied within this paradigm (see section 2 and Wieling et al. 2014 for an exception).
In this chapter we present ASPA Tools (Accented-Speech Phonetic Alignment), a web application which measures phonetic distances between foreign-accented speech and a standard pronunciation. Unlike similar instruments (Visual DialectoMetry or Gabmap), ASPA Tools measures the degree of intelligibility of non-native English speech in relation to English as a Lingua Franca (ELF).
We use Multiple Sequence Alignment (MSA) and two variations of the Levenshtein Distance (LD) to examine the pronunciation of a group of speakers and compare it to a given ELF standard. Furthermore, ASPA Tools objectively measures the prototypical pronunciation of the group, which allows researchers to analyse the most salient deviations from the ELF standard.