Native Speaker Perceptions of Accented Speech: The English Pronunciation of Macedonian EFL Learners
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The paper reports on the results of a study that aimed to describe the vocalic and consonantal features of the English pronunciation of Macedonian EFL learners as perceived by native speakers of English and to find out whether native speakers who speak different standard variants of English perceive the same segments as non-native. A specially designed computer web application was employed to gather two types of data: a) quantitative (frequency of segment variables and global foreign accent ratings on a 5-point scale), and b) qualitative (open-ended questions). The result analysis points out to three most frequent markers of foreign accent in the English speech of Macedonian EFL learners: final obstruent devoicing, vowel shortening and substitution of English dental fricatives with Macedonian dental plosives. It also reflects additional phonetic aspects poorly explained in the available reference literature such as allophonic distributional differences between the two languages and intonational mismatch.