The Effect of Accents Familiarity on the Intelligibility of Nigerian and Malaysian nonnative Englishes

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Hamza Bello
Jamilu Abdullahi


This study is contextualised under the paradigm of world Englishes to investigate the roles of familiarity with nonnative English varieties in enhancing intelligibility. In essence, the study intends to examine how familiarity with a nonnative English variety augments the intelligibility of nonnative speech. Fourty 40 Nigerians (Hausa) and eighty 80 Malaysian (40 Malay and 40 Chinese) ESL speakers participated in the study. The research employed intelligibility assessment task, using contrast as stimuli. A questionnaire was also used to assess familiarity levels of Nigerians with Malaysian English and vice versa. Findings indicate that there are significant differences between participants with familiarity with an English accent and those with no familiarity in rating intelligibility of English vowel sounds. This finding signifies that accent familiarity in an important factor in determining the intelligibility of world Englishes. 

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How to Cite
Bello, H. ., & Abdullahi, J. . (2022). The Effect of Accents Familiarity on the Intelligibility of Nigerian and Malaysian nonnative Englishes. Journal of The Linguistic Association of Nigeria, 25, 129–143. Retrieved from


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