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Research Article

EEO. 2020; 19(3): 3845-3856

Diphthongs of Pakistani English: An Acoustic Study

Hafiz Ahmad Bilal, Dr Musarrat Azhar, Ms Ifra Anam, Ms Sadia Saeed.

The slogan that English is the language of those who speak it, has changed the whole spectrum of English studies. It led to the concept of World Englishes with the idea of many non-native varieties of English. The current study is an acoustic investigation into the diphthongs of Pakistani English (PakE) with the question whether PakE has different set of diphthongs from Standard British English (SBE). The study explored the number of diphthongs of PakE, and any changes in the realization of diphthongs as compared to SBE. The participants (25 male and 25 female), with Punjabi as their L1, were chosen from among the undergraduates of English studies of University of Sargodha Pakistan. The word list containing diphthongs (adapted from Well’s Lexical set) was prepared and the participants were asked to speak each word using a carrier phrase ‘please say loudly’. The sounds were recorded using high-tech equipment of ‘VoV’ FM Radio station of the University. Praat was used for acoustic analysis. Formant frequencies F1 and F2 were measured at two different positions (i.e., onsetand offset) of each sequence to observe trajectory of each vowel. The duration of the vowel tokens was also recorded. The formant frequencies and the duration were statistically processed applying ANOVA usingTukey’s HSD Test to examine whether the differences of F1 at onset and offset and F2 at onset and offset, are significant. The findings revealed that PakE speakers realized only six diphthongs i.e., /iÉ™/, /eÉ™/, /uÉ™/, /É”i/, /ai/ and /au/. Two diphthongs i.e., /ei/ and /É™u/ were monophthongised, as no glide or trajectory was observed on the Praat spectrogram, and they were articulated in relatively less amount of time as compared to other vowels. Hence, it is concluded that PakE is a different variety of non-native Englishes with its unique characteristics.

Key words: PakE, diphthongs, Praat, acoustic analysis, formant frequencies, Tukey’s HSD test.

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