The influence of metalinguistic knowledge of segmental phonology on the production of English vowels by Brazilian undergraduate students

Ronaldo Mangueira Lima Jr

Abstract


This paper presents data on the production of English vowels [i ɪ ɛ æ u ʊ] by Brazilian English Language Teaching (ELT) undergraduate students before and after taking a course on English Segmental Phonology. Brazilian learners tend to assimilate the contrasts present in [i ɪ], [ɛ æ] and [u ʊ] into the prototypical categories of Brazilian Portuguese [i], [ɛ] and [u], respectively. Thus, this paper investigates the influence of receiving explicit metalinguistic instruction of English segmental phonology on the production of the target pairs of vowels. The data analysis is of acoustic nature (spectral quality), and the results show that some learners created new phonetic categories for the English vowels after receiving the metalinguistic instruction.


Keywords


Phonological Acquisition; Acoustic Analysis; English as a Foreign Language; Explicit Instruction

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5007/2175-8026.2017v70n3p117

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