Data Sets



Taiwanese + Malaysian — Tw : 603

S1 = Malaysian female
S2 = Taiwanese female

Context: S2 is talking about the education her children experienced in Singapore, particularly the time they started school when they arrived from England.

S2 : late primary school

S1 : late primary school

S2 : <1> yeah </1>

S1 : <1> so </1> p p six p five

Intended Word : P6 (i.e. sixth grade in primary school)

Heard as : B6

Discussion : S2 transcribed it as B6, even though that makes little sense in talking about Primary School. She also insisted it was B6 when it was played back to her later.

One reason for this is phonetic: there is little or no aspiration on the [p], which is why S2 hears it as [b]. In addition, there may be a mismatch in background assumptions: S1 is using the Singapore classification system, where the six grades of Primary school are referred to as P1 to P6; but S2 is not really familiar with this sytem, because although her children went to school in Singapore, they went to an international school where this system was not used.