Vocalisation of Dark-l in Educated Singaporean English

Tan Kah Keong

English Language Honours AE, NIE, 2004


The description of l-vocalisation in Singapore English based on impressionistic judgements has been undertaken by several researchers. By virtue of recent advances in computer speech analysis technology which has enabled extensive work to be undertaken for the acoustic study of speech, this Academic Exercise attempts to generate instrumental evidence to substantiate claims made in these pioneering studies. The educated variety of Singaporean English will serve as the basis of this study.

This dissertation surveys vocalisation by speakers in three styles of speech: formal conversational speech, normal read speech and fast read speech. It is firstly aimed at finding evidence to confirm previous claims that vocalisation is a feature of Singapore English. Secondly, it seeks to find out if there is a significance difference in the vocalisation tendencies between the two genders. Next, it compares the incidence of vocalisation in normal and faster speeches. It then assesses the occurrence of the phenomenon in relation to style differences. Finally, this paper explores the phonetic factors influencing the occurrence of vocalised-l in the local variety of English.