Data Sets



Taiwanese + Malaysian — Tw : 1445

S1 = Malaysian female
S2 = Taiwanese female

Context: S2 has been talking about her plans for her holiday in the UK over the summer.

S1 : okay so (.) the main agenda would be to drink white wine

Intended Word : agenda

Heard as : agent now

Discussion : S2 knew that agent now was incorrect, and she marked the transcript with a question mark. But she could not figure it out.

The problem seems to be that there is equal prominence on all three syllables of agenda, rather than [ə] on the first and third syllables. This can be seen as an issue with stress placement (there is no clear stress on the second syllable) or else an issue with the quality of vowels. It is rare for the absence of vowel reduction to cause misunderstandings, but lack of vowel reduction seems to be a factor in this case.