2016 | 7 | 1 | 93-108
Article title

Vowel-Related Glottalization in Czech Read Speech: Russian vs. Native Speakers

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Glottalization as a significant irregularity of glottal pulsing fulfils a number of linguistic functions and can occur in various contexts. It can also contribute to a foreign accent. This paper examines the rate of vowel-related glottalization in the speech of Russian speakers who are beginning learners of Czech, comparing their reading of Czech with that of native speakers. In Czech, there is a relatively high frequency of glottalization and, according to research from the last decade, glottalization in Russian is more common than is usually assumed, especially at the boundaries of intonational phrases. The purpose of this study is to determine the similarities and differences in the distribution of glottalization among native and non-native speakers of Czech, and to examine the factors that may influence it. The subjects read a short text containing 14 potential positions where glottalization can occur in the standard pronunciation of native speakers. The resulting 322 tokens were then analysed and rated for glottalization. The analysis was primarily based on perception and covered two main categories of glottalization: the glottal stop and creaky voice. The rate of glottalization in individual speakers ranged from 71.4 to 100.0% (native group) and from 25.0 to 72.7% (non-native group). The differences between native and non-native speakers are significant at the level p < 0.05, while the differences between males and females (both within and across the groups) are not significant. Three different positions (the intonational phrase boundary, the position after a non-syllabic preposition, and the word-internal boundary) are discussed in detail.
  • Institute of Phonetics, Faculty of Arts, Charles University
  • Department of South Slavonic and Balkan Studies, Faculty of Arts, Charles University
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