Semester of Graduation



Master of Arts (MA)


Communication Sciences and Disorders

Document Type



In this study, the acoustic differences between native English speakers’ (L1) and native-Korean speakers’ (L2) production of American English liquids /ɹ/, /l/ and /ɹl/ were examined among 14 Korean speakers and 13 English speakers. Temporal measures included (1) relative timing of maximum constriction and (2) duration of vocalic nuclei. Spectral measures included (1) Euclidean distance between /ɹ/ and /l/ and (2) frequency difference between F2 and F3. The results indicated a significant interaction between speaker group and phonetic stimuli. That is, L2 speakers produced a similar degree of constriction across semivowels, whereas L1 speakers produced varying degrees of F2-F3 constrictions across phonetic stimuli. In addition, the relative timing of maximum constriction occurred earliest in /ɹl/ and latest in /ɹ/ production for L1 speakers. The opposite pattern was observed for L2 speakers. Furthermore, the two speaker groups exhibited significantly different results concerning the Euclidean distances between /ɹ/ and /l/. The Euclidean distances between the two sounds were significantly closer for L2 speakers compared to L1 speakers which indicates reduced acoustic distinction between the two liquids in L2 speakers. The same results were revealed for both measurement points, temporal midpoint and maximum constriction point. However, the speaker group difference was more apparent when measured from the point of maximum F2-F3 constriction compared to the temporal midpoint. The findings provide acoustic data on liquid production in L2 speakers and support the use of these measures in a clinical setting.

Committee Chair

Kim, Yunjung