Visual Feedback Tool for German Vowel Production


For non-native German speakers, correct vowel perception can be difficult due to a relatively large inventory of German vowels which are similar in their acoustic qualities and/or duration. For L2 learners whose native language does not distinguish between these similar vowels, several distinct vowels may be assimilated to a single vowel category from the speaker’s native language [3]. This perceptual deficit carries over into production, where it has been shown that some L2 German speakers fail to correctly produce German vowel minimal pairs [6]. In order to help non-native German speakers improve both perception and production of acoustically similar vowels, we propose a prototype visual feedback tool which illustrates the differences between the sounds. The tool is based on a listening and repetition exercise, with an added visual modality which provides graphic representation of the first two formants as well as duration. The user can listen to native German productions of target vowels and see formant values and duration visually represented, then record their own productions and see how formants and durations compare. The goal is that with repeated use, the learner can adjust their production of the vowels to approximate acoustic and duration based targets from the native German productions.

Year: 2015
In session: Prosodie
Pages: 150 to 157