09 March 2013
Methods and Procedures: For our final experiment we will be using a group of specified Polish as second language learners, and another group of Polish as L1 speakers in order to analyze whether or not second language polish learners have a hard time identifying the palato-alveolar consonants and the palatal consonants expressed in the spoken Polish language. The speakers and listeners we will be analyzing will be a group of L2 Polish language learners from a UWM polish class, and some girls who take part in a Polish folk dance group. The fluent Polish speaker data will be elicited from one of the researcher’s family members. For our procedure we will collect the data from the native Polish speakers by developing a word list that covers all eight sounds we are focusing on in the word initial, word final, and other miscellaneous positions, and then we would have the Polish as a second language group score the pronunciations to tell us whether or not they thought the consonant they just heard was palatal or palato-alveolar and voiced or voiceless. We could then study the Polish L2 learners attempt at pronunciation of the same sets of words to see how their accent differs from that of the Polish as the L1 speaker. We were thinking that we would have three of each of the types of words for a total of 72 words, plus each of the sounds in isolation repeated three times so that each person will have to listen and score ninety six instances. We are estimating that it will take no longer than one second for each word to play and no longer than ten seconds for the listener to choose their answer for each utterance. Once again, the stimulus for our experiment will be a word list that we will come up with that correctly puts each sound we are focusing on in different word positions. We will collect our data by recording the participant’s utterances through the Praat program and saving them as sound files that can be further analyzed and distributed. There are some concepts that we are still working on in regards to the execution of our experiment and data analysis, but we have hopes to tackle those issues before the final data is collected and analyzed.
Data Analysis A certain group of palatal consonants in Polish sound very similar to a corresponding group of palato-alveolar consonants. If native speakers of English who are learning Polish as a second language ehear a native speaker of Polish produce these sounds side by side for the first time, will they have a difficult time telling if a consonant sound produced by the native Polish speaker was palatal or palato-alveolar. Thus resulting in the Polish L2 learners having a foreign accent and producing both types of consonants the same when they attempt to speak polish themselves. We will be collecting data that helps us to solve three different questions: 1. Would it be easier for L2 learners of Polish to distinguish between palato-alveolar/palatal affricates or fricatives? 2. Would it be easier for L2 learners of Polish to distinguish between voiced or voiceless palato-alveolar/palatal consonants? 3. Does the length of time an L2 learner has been studying the Poilish language affect their ability to make a distinction between the palato-alveolar and palatal consonants? With these specific questions in mind we will analyze our data in order to find out how well the Polish as a second language learners make distinctions between palatal and palato-alveolar consonants. From our data we will collect we will be able to take a look at and tally up the distinctions that the Polish as a second language students make when listening to and judging the pronunciations of a Native Polish speaker. For added detail we will also survey each of the second language Polish learners in order to find out how long they have been studying the Polish language. With that set of data we will be able to distinguish