Glocalization of English: An Analysis of the Phonological Deviations of Semivowels and Liquids in Pakistani English
Being a global lingua franca, English is widely used as a medium of communication, particularly among the educated class in Pakistan. It serves not only as one of the country's official languages but also as a medium of instruction in the higher education sector. Over the years, it has evolved so much that it stands as a distinctive variety of English identified as Pakistani English (PE). Though numerous studies have briefly focused on the phonological deviation of consonants in PE, an in-depth research is needed to analyse each consonant thoroughly. In this regard, this paper aims to explore how PE speakers pronounce the selected English consonants, semivowels [w] and [j], and liquids [l] and [r]. For this purpose, a sample of 20 participants (10 males and 10 Females) enrolled in Masters in English linguistics and literature was selected from a public sector university in Islamabad. Each participant was provided with a list of preselected words for each phoneme and was asked to pronounce them individually. Firstly, we recorded the sessions, then transcribed the data phonemically, and finally, we analysed the data in comparison with the Received Pronunciation (RP) obtained from the PhoTransEdit Online application. The results were illustrated in the stacked bar graph. The findings show that PE deviates from RP in all the respective English semivowels and liquids because these phonemes were not present in their first language, Urdu. Consequently, PE speakers substitute the English phonemes with the nearest available Urdu equivalent. The study is significant because it highlights the salient features of PE in terms of its deviation from RP.
Keywords: Consonant Sounds, Liquids, Pakistani English, Received Pronunciation, Semivowels.
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