Portrait of Dr Angelos Lengeris

Dr Angelos Lengeris

Lecturer in Linguistics

About

Dr Angelos Lengeris received an MA and a PhD in Phonetics from the Department of Speech Sciences, University College London (UCL). Before joining the Department of English Language and Linguistics at the University of Kent, he taught at the University of Cyprus, the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, the University of Athens and the Tei of Kalamata. 

Angelos is the Co-Director of the Linguistics Laboratory in the Department of English Language and Linguistics and the Deputy Director of the Centre for Language and Linguistics (CLL), which promotes interdisciplinary collaboration in linguistic research and hosts a guest lecture series attracting national and international contributors.

Research interests

Angelos' main research interests are in the areas of phonetics, second-language learning and TEFL/TESOL. His PhD thesis examined the use of new technologies for improving English perception and pronunciation for Greek learners of English.

In 2012, Angelos was awarded a three-year GSRT Postdoctoral Fellowship co-funded by the European Social Fund and the Greek State to examine the concurrent learning of English vowels and consonants by Greek learners of English; and whether learning transfers to conversational speech. 

His research interests also include the learning of second-language intonation, the acoustics of vowels in different speaking styles, the phonetics and phonology of Greek dialects, and the perception of stress.

Teaching

Angelos teaches language learning and teaching, research methods, applied linguistics and syllabus and material design for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).

Publications

Article

  • Lengeris, A. (2018). Computer-based auditory training improves second-language vowel production in spontaneous speech. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America [Online] 144:EL165-EL171. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.5052201.
    The current study examined the effectiveness of computerbased auditory training on Greek speakers’ production of English vowels in read sentences and in spontaneous speech. Another group of Greek speakers served as controls. Improvement was evaluated pre- and post-training via an identification task performed by English listeners and by an acoustic analysis of vowel quality using a combined F1/F2 measure. Auditory training improved English vowel production in read sentences and in spontaneous speech for the trained group, with improvement being larger in read sentences. The results indicate that auditory training can have ecological validity since it enhances learners' production beyond the (read) sentence level.
  • Lengeris, A. (2016). Comparison of perception-production vowel spaces for speakers of Standard Modern Greek and two regional dialects. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America [Online] 140:EL314-EL319. Available at: http://doi.org/10.1121/1.4964397.
    This study compared the perception-production vowel spaces for speakers of Standard Modern Greek and two regional dialects. In experiment 1, participants produced the Greek vowels and chose vowel best exemplars (prototypes) in a natural sentence spoken in the participants’ dialect. In experiment 2, the speakers who had made the recordings for experiment 1 chose themselves vowel prototypes. Cross-dialectal differences were found in both perception and production. Across dialects and experiments, participants’ perceptual space was exaggerated compared to the acoustic one. Because participants’ perceptual space in experiment 2 was calibrated to the participants own voice, perception and production data are directly comparable.
  • Lengeris, A. and Nicolaidis, K. (2015). Effect of Phonetic Training on the Perception of English Consonants by Greek Speakers in Quiet and Noise. Proceedings of Meetings on Acoustics [Online] 22. Available at: http://doi.org/10.1121/2.0000025.
    The present study employed high-variability phonetic training (multiple words spoken by multiple talkers) to improve the identification of English consonants by native speakers of Greek. The trainees completed five sessions of identification training with feedback for seven English consonants (contrasting voiced vs. voiceless stops and alveolar vs. postalveolar fricatives) each consisting of 196 trials with a different English speaker in each session. Another group of Greek speakers served as controls, i.e. completed the pre-/post-test but received no training. Pre-/post-tests included English consonant identification in quiet and notice. In the noise condition, participants identified consonants in the presence of a competing English speaker at a signal-to-noise ratio of -2dB. The results showed that training significantly improved English consonant perception for the group that received training but not for the control group in both quiet and noise. The results add to the existing evidence that supports the effectiveness of the high-variability approach to second-language segmental training
  • Kainada, E. and Lengeris, A. (2015). Native Language Influences on the Production of Second-language Prosody. Journal of the International Phonetic Association [Online] 45:269-287. Available at: http://doi.org/10.1017/S0025100315000158.
    This study examined native language (L1) transfer effects on the production of second-language (L2) prosody by intermediate Greek learners of English, specifically the set of tonal events and their alignment, speech rate, pitch span and pitch level in English polar questions. Greek uses an L* L+H- L% melody giving rise to a low–high–low f0 contour at the end of the polar question that does not resemble any of the contours used by native speakers in English polar questions. The results showed that the Greek speakers transferred the full set of Greek tonal events into English associating them with stressed syllables, and consistently placed the focus on the verb. The Greek speakers also anchored the peak of the phrase accent in polar questions around the midpoint of the stressed vowel across L1/L2 despite using longer vowel durations in L2. At the same time, their productions deviated from L1 forms in terms of speech rate (slower in L2), pitch span (narrower in L2) and pitch level (lower in L2), indicating that even when learners adopt an L1 prosodic feature in their L2, they still produce interlanguage forms that deviate from L1.
  • Spyropoulos, V. et al. (2013). A Comparative Study of Albanian-Greek: Aspects of Phonological and Morphosyntactic Structure. Albanohellenica [Online]:53-74. Available at: http://albanohellenica.wixsite.com/greekalbanianstudies/all-issues.
  • Lengeris, A. and Hazan, V. (2011). The effect of native vowel processing ability and frequency discrimination acuity on the phonetic training of English vowels for native speakers of Greek. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America [Online] 128:3757-3768. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.3506351.
    The perception and production of nonnative phones in second language (L2) learners can be improved via auditory training, but L2 learning is often characterized by large differences in performance across individuals. This study examined whether success in learning L2 vowels, via five sessions of high-variability phonetic training, related to the learners’ native (L1) vowel processing ability or their frequency discrimination acuity. A group of native speakers of Greek received training, while another completed the pre-/post-tests but without training. Pre-/post-tests assessed different aspects of their L2 and L1 vowel processing and frequency acuity. L2 and L1 vowel processing were assessed via: (a) Natural English (L2) vowel identification in quiet and in multi-talker babble, and natural Greek (L1) vowel identification in babble; (b) the categorization of synthetic English and Greek vowel continua; and (c) discrimination of the same continua. Frequency discrimination acuity was assessed for a nonspeech continuum. Frequency discrimination acuity was related to measures of both L1 and L2 vowel processing, a finding that favors an auditory processing over a speech-specific explanation for individual variability in L2 vowel learning. The most efficient frequency discriminators at pre-test were also the most accurate both in English vowel perception and production after training
  • Lengeris, A. (2009). Perceptual Assimilation and L2 Learning: Evidence from the Perception of Southern British English Vowels by Native Speakers of Greek and Japanese. Phonetica [Online] 66:169-187. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1159/000235659.
    This study examined the extent to which previous experience with duration in first language (L1) vowel distinctions affects the use of duration when perceiving vowels in a second language (L2). Native speakers of Greek (where duration is not used to differentiate vowels) and Japanese (where vowels are distinguished by duration) first identified and rated the eleven English monophthongs, embedded in /bVb/ and /bVp/ contexts, in terms of their L1 categories and then carried out discrimination tests on those English vowels. The results demonstrated that both L2 groups were sensitive to durational cues when perceiving the English vowels. However, listeners were found to temporally assimilate L2 vowels to L1 category/categories. Temporal information was available in discrimination only when the listeners’ L1 duration category/categories did not interfere with the target duration categories and hence the use of duration in such cases cannot be attributed to its perceptual salience as has been proposed

Book section

  • Revithiadou, A. and Lengeris, A. (2016). One or many? In search of the default stress in Greek. in: Heinz, J., Goedemans, R. and van der Hulst, H. eds. Dimensions of Phonological Stress. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, pp. 263-290. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781316212745.010.
  • Kainada, E. and Lengeris, A. (2014). The Acquisition of English Intonation by Native Greek Speakers. in: Lavidas, N., Alexiou, T. Ã. ¯ and Areti, M. eds. Major Trends in Theoretical and Applied Linguistics. Thessaloniki, Greece: DE GRUYTER, pp. 141-156. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.2478/9788376560762.p21.
    This study examined the production of English intonation by Greek second language (L2) learners of English, specifically their production of polar questions and their pitch range in English. Productions of (a) comparable materials in Greek spoken by the same Greek speakers and (b) English materials spoken by native English speakers were used to assess phonological and phonetic native
    language (L1) transfer when learning an L2. The results showed that Greek speakers used their L1 (Greek) intonation in English polar questions. Greek speakers’ pitch span in English was narrower from both their L1 (Greek) and from the target (English) pitch span.
  • Lengeris, A. (2012). Prosody and Second Language Teaching: Lessons from L2 Speech Perception and Production Research. in: Romero Trillo, J. ed. Pragmatics and Prosody in English Language Teaching. Netherlands: Springer, pp. 25-40. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-3883-6.
    Despite the well-attested importance of prosody in second language (L2) learning and the development of widely accessible software packages that can be used for analysing the prosodic aspects of speech, the teaching of L2 prosody is usually neglected in classroom settings. This article reviews important findings from L2 speech perception and production research that can be of use to teachers and practitioners involved in language pedagogy. What these findings demonstrate is that (a) L2 speech learning in general, as well as L2 intonation learning in particular, is feasible even in adulthood and (b) computer-assisted training with highly-variable auditory feedback and visual feedback in the form of pitch tracks can facilitate learning. Freely available acoustic analysis programs developed by the research community that can be used for teaching L2 intonation will also be discussed.

Conference or workshop item

  • Lengeris, A. and Kappa, I. (2016). Palatalization and affrication of velar stops in the (western) Cretan dialect. in: 21st International Symposium on Theoretical and Applied Linguistics. Thessaloniki, Greece, pp. 224-238. Available at: https://ejournals.lib.auth.gr/thal/article/view/5226.
    This study examined a well-known feature of the Cretan dialect, namely the palatalization and affrication of voiceless velar stops triggered by following front vowels /i/ and /e/ and the high glide. The material was drawn from conversational speech uttered by five male speakers of the western Cretan dialect. The results revealed three realizations of the underlying voiceless velar stop /k/, specifically a standard palatal stop [c] realization and two dialectal ones, a palatal [cç] and an alveolo-palatal [t?] affricate. Dialectal realizations occurred more frequently in stressed syllables than unstressed ones and in word-medial syllables than in syllables in word edges.
  • Lengeris, A. and Nicolaidis, K. (2016). The identification and production of English consonants by Greek speakers. in: 21st International Symposium on Theoretical and Applied Linguistics. Thessaloniki, Greece, pp. 211-223. Available at: https://ejournals.lib.auth.gr/thal/article/view/5227.
    This study examined the identification and production of English consonants by Greek learners of English. Consonant identification was examined in quiet and in two types of noise, a competing talker and an 8-speaker babble. Consonant production was assessed by having English listeners identify the English consonants produced by Greek speakers. Greek speakers achieved higher identification scores in quiet than in noise and the 8-speaker babble had a more detrimental effect in their scores than the competing speaker. Difficulties with specific English consonants were not always similar across modalities; some consonants proved easy to identify but difficult to produce and vice versa.
  • Nikolou, K., Lengeris, A. and Xefteri, M. (2016). Retroflexion of /l/ in Modern Greek dialects: the case of Aperathou (Naxos) dialect. in: 6th International Conference on Modern Greek Dialects & Linguistic Theory. Patras, Greece, pp. 126-133. Available at: http://electra.lis.upatras.gr/index.php/mgdlt/article/view/2679.
    The present study examines the allophonic realization of the lateral /l/ as a retroflex approximant [?] in Aperathou (Apiranthos) Naxos dialect, a phenomenon also attested in the Cretan dialect. Six speakers of the dialect (3 female and 3 male) were recorded conversing freely with a native speaker of the dialect. Our data confirmed that the retroflex allophone occurred before back vowels, in word-initial, word-medial and word-final position, in stressed and unstressed syllables and in consonant clusters. Crucially, retroflexion was blocked in syllable coda position, in which position the lateral approximant conformed to delateralization process. An acoustic analysis of the data revealed that the retroflex allophone differed from /l/ in terms of F1 and F3. Interestingly, a comparison between the Aperathou and the Cretan retroflex showed no differences in their acoustic characteristics in terms of duration and F1-F3 formant frequencies. Our results therefore support a close resemblance of the dialects spoken in Aperathou Naxos and Western Crete, at least as far as retroflexion is concerned.
  • Lengeris, A., Kainada, E. and Topintzi, N. (2016). Vowel raising, deletion and diphthongization in Kozani Greek. in: 6th International Conference on Modern Greek Dialects & Linguistic Theory. Patra, Greece, pp. 93-101. Available at: http://electra.lis.upatras.gr/index.php/mgdlt/article/view/2676.
    This study examined three vocalic phenomena in Kozani Greek, unstressed high-vowel deletion, unstressed mid-vowel raising, and stressed mid-vowel diphthongization. Eight dialectal speakers were recorded conversing freely with a native speaker of the dialect. The results showed that high vowel deletion and mid vowel raising occurred frequently (but not always) in the corpus and were not restricted to word-final position. Stressed mid vowel diphthongization was rare. Acoustic measurements of first and second formant frequencies (F1-F2) showed that raised mid vowels /e/ and /o/ were very similar to /i/ and /u/ respectively and diphthongized /e/ and /o/ had the characteristic for diphthongs F1-F2 formant movement. Overall, the application of such vocalic phenomena in Kozani Greek resulted in an asymmetrical vowel system, especially in unstressed position.
  • Lengeris, A. et al. (2015). Dialectal effects on the perception of Greek vowels. in: The Scottish Consortium for ICPhS, ed. 18th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences. UK, p. Paper number 0925.1. Available at: https://www.internationalphoneticassociation.org/icphs-proceedings/ICPhS2015/proceedings.html.
    This study examined cross-dialectal differences on the perception of Greek vowels. Speakers of Standard Modern Greek (SMG) and two dialectal areas (Crete, Kozani), all with five vowels in their systems, chose best exemplar locations (prototypes) for Greek vowels embedded in a carrier sentence spoken by a speaker of their dialect. The results showed that SMG, Cretan and Kozani vowels were well separated in the perceptual space. At the same time, there were dialect-induced differences in the positioning and distances between vowels as well as in the total space area covered by each dialect. The organisation of perceived vowel space therefore seems to be dialect-specific, a finding which is consistent with production studies examining the organisation of the acoustic vowel space.
  • Baltazani, M. et al. (2015). The prenuclear field matters: Questions and statements in standard modern Greek. in: The Scottish Consortium for ICPhS, ed. 18th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences. UK, pp. Paper number 0941.1-5. Available at: https://www.internationalphoneticassociation.org/icphs-proceedings/ICPhS2015/proceedings.html.
    Within the AM model of intonational phonology, nuclear rather than prenuclear pitch accents typically monopolize our interest as the purported pivots for meaning distinctions among utterances. This paper compares, through one production and two perception experiments, the prenuclear field in statements versus polar questions in Greek, which can be string identical, differing only in intonation. Systematic differences in the prenuclear pitch accents of these two utterance types were found in both their peak alignment and scaling. Moreover, identification and discrimination experiments showed that listeners were attuned to these differences. These results underline the importance of research on the phonetics and phonology of prenuclear pitch accents and their contribution to the meaning of utterances.
  • Lengeris, A. et al. (2014). On the phonetics and phonology of retroflexion in the (Western) Cretan dialect. in: Kotzoglou, G. et al. eds. 11th International Conference on Greek Linguistics. Rhodes, Greece, pp. 874-883.
  • Lengeris, A. and Nicolaidis, K. (2014). Greek consonant confusions by native listeners in quiet and noise. in: Kotzoglou, G. et al. eds. 11th International Conference on Greek Linguistics. Greece, pp. 866-873.
  • Lengeris, A. and Nicolaidis, K. (2014). English consonant confusions by Greek listeners in quiet and noise and the role of phonological short-term memory. in: 15th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association (Interspeech 2014). Singapore, pp. 534-538. Available at: http://www.isca-speech.org/archive/interspeech_2014/i14_0534.html.
    This study investigated English consonant identification by Greek listeners and the role of phonological short-term memory (PSTM) in listeners’ identification ability. Twenty Greek university students who had received formal instruction in English identified 24 English consonants (embedded in VCV syllables) presented in quiet and in two noise types, a competing talker at a signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of -6dB and an 8-speaker babble at an SNR of -2dB. Participants’ PSTM was assessed via a serial non-word recognition task in Greek. The results showed that identification scores in quiet were significantly higher than in noise. There was no difference in scores between the two noise conditions. PSTM correlated with English consonant identification in quiet and in the two types of noise; listeners with greater PSTM capacity were also better in identifying English consonants in quiet and noise, a finding that extends previous research in quiet to L2 perception in adverse listening conditions. English consonant confusion patterns are interpreted as caused by a combination of first-language interference (at both the phonetic and phonological levels) and spectral/articulatory factors.
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