YET ANOTHER LOOK AT INTERLANGUAGE PHONOLOGY: THE MODIFICATION OF ENGLISH SYLLABLE STRUCTURE BY NATIVE SPEAKERS OF POLISH

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Abstract

Tarone (1980) attempted to show that some syllable structure errors in the interlanguage (IL) speech of learners of English from various language backgrounds were not attributable to language transfer and might provide evidence of a universal tendency to produce open (CV) syllables, an interlanguage process which she argued operates independently of language transfer The case study presented here follows essentially the same method of investigation that Tarone followed to gather evidence for the hypothesized universal preference for the open syllable, but uses speakers from a different language group (Polish) as subjects Since Polish features man) of the same complex syllable structures that English does, modification of these same complex syllable in the interlanguage would not appear to be attributable to transfer The next question would be whether the modifications found showed movement toward an open syllable. The results obtained here are less categorical than those obtained by Tarone Although a number of modifications were found which could not readily be attributed to transfer, only about half of these could be sad to show clear modification toward an open (CV) syllable pattern Although it IS possible that the preference for the open CV syllable operates as a variable rule in interlanguage phonology, with the native‐language (NL) background of the learner influencing the extent to which the rule is applied, it is suggested that the patterns of modification found here might best be analyzed not in terms of processes unique to IL phonology, but rather in terms of universal patterns of glottalization and epenthesis found in the speech of persons experiencing stress, whether they are speaking in their native language or in a second language.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)405-417
Number of pages13
JournalLanguage Learning
Volume35
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1985

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