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  • Date Submitted: 06/22/2011 01:26 AM
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An Acoustic Analysis of Pitch Range in the Production of Native and NonNative Speakers of English
Author
Nora Binghadeer
College of Education, Riyadh University, Saudi Arabia
Bio Data:
Nora A. Binghadeer is an assistant professor in Applied Linguistics (Acoustic Phonetics and Language Learning) at the English Department, College of Education, Riyadh University, Saudi Arabia. She has been teaching English courses to EFL students for more than 20 years. She has taught Linguistics, Grammar, Spoken English, Phonetics, morphology, and syntax. Her current research interests include interlanguage development in intonation, kinetic tones, fossilized vowels, and accent attainment after the critical period.

This paper investigated Saudi EFL learners' pitch range, and compared it to that of native speakers. 52 female students read sentences, and their production was analysed through pitch tracks and spectrograms. The F0 of the vowels for all tokens was measured in Hz at midpoint. The results revealed that there were significant differences between the mean of the pitch range used by non-native speakers and all native speakers for the utterances with falling intonation. However, while there were no significant differences between the non-native speakers' and the American native speakers' pitch range for the utterances with rising intonation, there were significant differences between their mean and that of the British native speakers.
 
Key words: EFL, language learning, language teaching, suprasegmentals, intonation, pitch range
1. Introduction
Suprasegmental errors have a greater impact on native speakers (NSs) than segmental errors, with intonational patterns playing a potentially important role in foreign accent (Anderson-Hsieh et al., 1992; Morely, 1991; Pennington & Richards 1986). This is partly due to the fact that an intonation system is an integral part of the language, and inaccurate speech melody can trigger a complete breakdown in communication (James,...

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