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

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

Production of a "New" Phone: The Vocalic Gesture

Bertrand Lauret

ILPGA - Université Paris III Sorbonne Nouvelle, UA 1027, Paris, France

The phonetic performance of an adult learner in L2 is marked by the use of L1 units. It has been said that the production of a "new" phone of L2, i.e. having no corresponding sound in L1, may be eventually mastered. The production of a "similar" phone, i.e. having a corresponding sound in L1, may be blocked by the perceptual mechanism of equivalence classification. This paper observes [u] in General American English (GAE) and in French (F), and GAE[ju] and F[y] in L1 and L2. We invalidate conclusions based on static data which maintain that English speakers better master F[y] as a "new" phone, than F[u] as a "similar" phone. Dynamic data show the importance of taking the entire gesture into consideration.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Lauret, Bertrand (1999): "Production of a "new" phone: the vocalic gesture", In ICPhS-14, 1157-1160.