Influence of native language on non-native language’s vowel duration: A Study of Nepali and Hindi speakers’ vowel duration

  • Anup Ghimire Reader in Linguistics, Department of Speech Language Pathology, AIISH, Mysore
Keywords: Hindi vowel, Nepali vowel, Vowel duration, Vowel acoustics


This paper attempts to study the variation in vowel duration for native and non-native Hindi speakers and also, the influence of native Nepali language on non-native Hindi language vowel duration. The acoustic characteristics of vowel duration in Hindi words spoken by native and non-native speakers of Hindi have been compared, by segmenting the words into syllables and phonemes. The vowels /ə/, /a/, / ɪ /, / i/, /ʊ/, /u/, /e/, /ɛ/, /o/ found predominantly in Hindi, were directed for analysis. The two groups of participants, twelve in each group were involved in the study. Results indicated that variation in vowel duration for six of the vowels were quite evident in the case of native Hindi speakers as compared with the non-native Hindi speakers (native Nepali speakers); but vowels /ə/, / ɪ / and /ʊ/ did not show any significant difference in both groups. It was evidenced that Hindi is stress based and in Nepali language, both long and short vowels were pronounced predominantly as short; leading to an inference that the native Nepali speakers tend to reduce the vowel duration while speaking Hindi words.

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