Acoustic Profiling of Central Vowels of Pakistani English: Describing the Nativised Variety
Keywords:Pakistani English, Central Vowels, PRAAT, Vowel Formants
English, as a global lingua franca, transcends linguistic and cultural boundaries and plays a pivotal role in connecting nations with diverse languages. The concept of World Englishes acknowledges the intricate tapestry of the English language across the globe. This research delves into the acoustic properties of central vowels in Pakistani English (PakE) with the objective of scrutinizing their distinctive features. Previous scholarly investigations (Bilal et al., 2011a; Sailaja, 2009; Kachru, 2005) have pointed to the absence of clear differentiation among central vowels (/ə/, /ɜ:/, and /ᴧ/) in Asian varieties of English. This empirical study seeks to verify these findings. To gather data, a cohort of 40 participants (comprising 20 males and 20 females) was selected from the BS English program at the University of Mianwali, all of whom were native Punjabi speakers. Isolated words were recorded using a standard carrier phrase, and acoustic analysis was conducted utilizing Praat software to measure vowel formants, specifically F1 and F2. The obtained data were subjected to statistical analysis using SPSS. The findings of this study indicate that speakers of PakE do not consistently differentiate between /ə/ and /ɜ:/, while they do maintain a distinct pronunciation of /ᴧ/ as a separate vowel sound. Consequently, PakE is characterized by the presence of two central vowels, substantiating its status as a distinctive nativized variety of English. This research sheds light on the evolving nature of English in diverse linguistic contexts, enriching our understanding of World Englishes and the variations within them.
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