Production of the English “sh” by L2 Thai Learners: An Acoustic Study


  • Qiandi Huang Faculty of Humanities, Naresuan University
  • Patchanok Kitikanan Naresuan University



English “sh”, Thai, English, vowel context, acoustic, experience


L2 sound production might vary in accordance with factors such as the vowel context and L2 experience held. This study investigates the production of the English “sh” by L2 Thai learners via acoustic analysis. The target sounds in this study were those in the initial position in three vowel contexts: high, low and back. The data were drawn from 48 subjects who were Thai undergraduate students. This sample was divided between two groups: high-experienced and low-experienced. All read the stimuli with the target sound in a carrier phrase. From this, their production was acoustically analysed with six acoustic measurements; duration, peak location, centroid, SD, skewness and kurtosis. The findings show that the English /ʃ/ produced by the high-experienced group was different from the English [ʃ] produced by the low-experienced group in many acoustic measurements. Furthermore, the English [ʃ] produced by the low-experienced group was found not to be different from the Thai [tɕʰ] in many acoustic aspects. These findings suggest that L2 experience supports L2 speech production. They also showed the effect of vowel context in relation to peak location and duration, as suggests the consideration of vowel context in the teaching of the L2 speech sounds.

Author Biographies

Qiandi Huang, Faculty of Humanities, Naresuan University

Department of English

Patchanok Kitikanan, Naresuan University

Department of English, Faculty of Humanities


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