Electropalatography (EPG) is a computer-based tracking system designed to provide real-time visual biofeedback of articulatory contacts occurring during speech production. Historically, EPG technology has proven functional within the treatment and assessment of speech disorders however, application of EPG technology to assist in second language learning has remained limited. The present thesis is part of a larger study examining the effectiveness of using EPG as an advanced instructional tool for assisting second language (L2) learners of German. Fricative productions ([ç], [x], /s/, and /∫/) within real words were gathered from 12 native English speakers enrolled in a second semester university level course to learn German. Speech productions from student participants were compared against native German speakers' productions collected in a previous study, using electrode mappings, percentages of regional contact, and center of gravity measures. These measures revealed different patterns of palatal contact between fricative sounds, between individual subjects, and cross-linguistically. Fricative sound mappings varied visually as speakers generally produced [ç] and [x] with significantly less palatal contact than when producing /s/ and /∫/. Variation across individual subjects was identified as some produced sounds with nearly no posterior palatal contact while others produced sounds asymmetrically or with decreased overall contact. Cross-linguistic differences were apparent as non-native German speakers frequently contacted greater numbers of electrodes with greater force, compared to the natives. It is anticipated that the information included in this thesis will provide insights into the role of EPG technology as an instructional tool for L2 learners.
College and Department
David O. McKay School of Education; Communication Disorders
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Lester, Kate Erin, "Quantifying Lingua-Palatal Contact Patterns of Fricative Productions by Non-native Students Enrolled in a University German Language Course: An Electropalatography Study" (2017). Theses and Dissertations. 6820.
Electropalatography, second-language acquisition, German, electrode mappings