An Acoustic Investigation into Diphthongs of Pakistani Variety of English


  • Arshad Mahmood


World Englishes, Three Circles, PakE, diphthongs, glide, acoustic analysis, formant


Pakistani English (henceforth, PakE), like all other Inner Circle, Outer Circle and Expanding Circle varieties (Kachru, 1992) of English, has its own hues and shades, which, naturally, render it a different variety of English. This study reports the diphthongal variation found in PakE with the help of spectrographic analysis of the target speech sounds. Each of the five English closing diphthongs /eɪ/, /aɪ/, /ɔɪ/, /əʊ/, /aʊ/ was embedded four times in a sentence and measured about 10% away from the opening and closing consonants (if any) in the syllable to minimize their(consonants’) influence on the sound under investigation. The required data was garnered from 8 study participants (n=8), with even gender distribution, studying in the Department of English Language and Literature, National University of Modern Languages (henceforth, NUML), Islamabad, the capital city of Pakistan. The token words embedded in the carrier sentences were recorded at the FM Radio Studio of the university. The recordings were digitized at a 44.1-kHz sampling rate which is the set standard rate for audio files.  The acoustic analysis was carried out with the help of Praat (6.1.16 version) with a focus on the overall duration of each diphthong, and the frequencies of F1 and F2. It was found out that PakE, like the other Outer Circle varieties of English, is a distinct variety of world Englishes which is developing/has developed its own phonological norms. The analysis of the data suggests that two of the closing English diphthongs (/eɪ/ and /əʊ/) lack the required glide, which is the hallmark of a diphthong. As far as the issue of gender is concerned, the analysis of the data suggests that it is a key factor in determining the vowel quality.


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How to Cite

Mahmood, A. . (2022). An Acoustic Investigation into Diphthongs of Pakistani Variety of English. Pakistan Journal of Languages and Translation Studies, 10(2), 11–39. Retrieved from