14th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-14)

San Francisco, CA, USA
August 1-7, 1999

Acquisition of Vowel Reduction by L2 Learners: The Role of L2 Orthography and L2 Morphology

Kira Gor

University of Maryland, USA

The present study identifies Russian orthography and problems with orthographic-phonological conversion as the major source of non-target reductions both in reading and spontaneous speech in the Russian interlanguage (IL) of American learners. It focuses on the role of inflectional morphology and shows that grammatical inflections have a higher rate of spelling induced reductions than the same positions (post-stress and word-final) in the stem. However, the rate of spelling induced reductions varies significantly depending on the individual ending. IL speakers pronounce grammatical inflections with spelling induced reduction to increase redundancy of the message and to preserve important linguistic information in the output to the hearer. This IL-specific strategy is aimed at coping with decreased redundancy in accented non-native speech carrying non-standard features. It leads to non-target productions because it is based on non-target IL reduction rules.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Gor, Kira (1999): "Acquisition of vowel reduction by L2 learners: the role of L2 orthography and L2 morphology", In ICPhS-14, 1153-1156.