Rhythm in Ethiopian English: Implications for the Teaching of English Prosody

Anegagregn Gashaw


In order to verify that English speeches produced by Ethiopian speakers fall under syllable-timed or stress-timed rhythm, the study tried to examine the nature of stress and rhythm in the pronunciation of Ethiopian speakers of English by focusing on one language group speaking Amharic as a native language. Using acoustic analysis of the speeches recorded from four Amharic speaking learners and two Canadian native speakers of English, comparison was made between pitch contours and length of speeches between speech samples of Amharic speakers with native speakers who are used in this study as a point of reference. The result of acoustic analysis showed that Amharic native samples displayed actual peaks on almost all words, taking longer time of articulation. It can be said that acoustic measures the study used for prosodic assessment of Ethiopian English exemplified the most occurring production tendencies of pronunciation that learners should give attention to. English pronunciation teaching to Ethiopians should involve the practice of stressing, un-stressing and rhythm to help learners improve their pronunciation from the influence of the syllable-timed rhythm of their mother tongue.


Ethiopian learners, rhythm, pronunciation teaching, pronunciation learning, Amharic learners, English as a foreign/second language

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7575/aiac.ijels.v.5n.1p.13


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