The phonetic study of bilingualism

James Emil Flege


Individuals who learn a second language (L2) seldom manage to negotiate the full range of differences between the sound systems of their native language (L1) and that of the second language if they begin learning the L2 beyond early childhood. Most speech errors in an L2 can be traced to differences in the inventory of sounds used in the L1
and L2, or to differences in the possible sequences in which those sounds can be arranged to form syllables and words. Also, many of the position sensitive allophones (or "sou nds") that any two languages might be said to "share" are likely to differ in their phonetic realization. The nature of the phonetic and phonological differences that distinguish any L1-
L2 pair is principally responsible for the kind of foreign accent one will hear. A German accent in English, for example, is very different from an Italian accent because English differs from German and Italian in different ways.


English Language; English


Copyright (c) 1998 James Emil Flege

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