To Hear Or Not To Hear That Is The Question

850 words - 4 pages

1. Introduction
This research project was based on the ability of the test subjects, a total of 15 subjects were tested, to distinguish the amount of sounds orthographically presented to them. The test subjects were subjected to a questionnaire containing 60 items; an amount of 20 items relevant for data schematics and 40 distractor/filler items. The main focus lay in the determination and recognition of the presence of a voiceless affricate in an orthographically presented word. In the present paper the focus is on the perception of the test subjects in identifying the presence of a voiceless affricate, would they consider this phoneme as two sounds rather than one sound. And therefor give more incorrect answers to questions that had the presence of a voiceless affricate phoneme orthographically presented to them. Without any prior knowledge of phonetics or phonology how would the test subjects score. Hypothetically the expectation was that test subjects would make more mistakes on the questions that contained a voiceless affricate. Especially due to the lack of prior knowledge they would probably answer more questions correct that did not contain a voiceless affricate.
2. Methodology
The 15 random test subjects were subjected to a questionnaire containing 60 orthographical items. It had been made clear to them that the test would only be used for scientific purposes and this statement was included in the questionnaire as well. The subjects were required to provide some general information first, namely their age, gender, first language and their proficiency level in English. A brief description was given before the beginning of the test and a few examples to make sure that the subjects knew what was expected of them (Appendix 1). Additionally the test was built up in such a way, randomization of the test items and the filler items, that they would be oblivious to the purpose of the research (Appendix 2). The words chosen for the questionnaire did not contain any diphthongs or triphthongs in order to avoid possible mishaps relating to this. The affricate + items contained a voiceless affricate and the affricate – items did not. Some of the filler items contained voiceless affricates, however these were not relevant for the results of the research project.
Ages of the subjects varied from 24 years old to 74 years old making it a clear spread. Additionally a total of 7 males and 8 females filled in the questionnaire providing equality also in this segment. The test subjects did not have any time restrictions, however it was made clear to them that their...

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