A SOCIO-PHONOLOGICAL ANALYSIS OF TAIWAN ENGLISH FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF WORLD ENGLISHES
James H. Yang
While earlier studies on English pronunciation features among native speakers of Mandarin, albeit scarce, have discovered many sound features distinct from Standard English, they failed to analyse how frequently each of the features occurred in learners with different English proficiency levels (Chang, 1991; Chen, 1975; Chung, 2006; Gao, 1995; Lee, 1986). This study focuses on intermediate-level learners of English explore the occurrence frequency of such pronunciation features among them because there is evidence that mesolectal speakers, to use a sociolinguistic term, are the majority in a community speaking English for international communication with foreigners (Hilgendorf, 2007; Jenkins, 2003, 2005; Mattock, 2003; Nero, 2006). To this end, ten Taiwan Mandarin speakers were invited in this study to read 1,225 common English words, and the findings indicate that a total of 11 sound features regularly appear in the readings of the respondents. Among these, five features have not been described in prior research. In particular, three of these features are identified as those which make Taiwan Mandarin-accented English distinct from other varieties of English. This study details the results and concludes by discussing this Expanding-Circle variety of English from the perspective of World Englishes.
Key words: English phonetics, graphic words, Taiwan English, World Englishes