Foreign Accent: A study of How Syllable Accenting can be

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Foreign Accent: A study of How Syllable Accenting can be Determined by Rules and
Result in Recognoaing Pronunciation(102 年 6 月)
劉立雯
外國語文學系
人文社會學院
[email protected]
Abstract
Correctly stressing syllables in the pronunciation of English words plays an essential
part in oral communication because misplaced emphasis or vocal stress often results
in failure of a listener to recognize the mispronounced words. Stress placement of
word syllables has long been recognized as an important aspect in the instruction of
pronunciation within Chinese English curricula, but concrete improvements to
teaching methods have proven elusive. Due to a considerable dissimilarity in the
linguistic nature of Chinese and English and a serious lack of authentic oral modeling
in the classroom, Chinese students of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) usually
receive little phonological education. As a consequence, they often, ignore English
sounds to the extent that they seemingly become effectively deaf to the English
language. To a native English speaker, the improperly accented English words spoken
by these students sound hesitant, inarticulate, and sometimes, completely
unintelligible. It is shown in this study that the improper speech habits of these
students can be effectively improved using the rules of a Canadian linguist’s word
stress prediction model. These rules predict syllable emphasis through a word’s
orthography or letter sequences, thus requiring minimum phonetic memorization in
learning how to place emphatic stress correctly in the syllables of unfamiliar English
words. This study provides substantial and undeniable evidence demonstrating the
potential of these stress prediction rules in helping EFL learners improve their
Standard American English (SAE) pronunciation. By correctly accenting syllables,
non-native speakers of English, particularly Chinese English students, are able to
eliminate unwanted foreign accents, reduce the likelihood of miscommunication with
English speakers, and improve the overall intelligibility of their spoken English.
Keyword:Accent, Word stress, Multi-syllable words, Intelligibility
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