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

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

The Base-of-Articulation Effect in a Second Language

Ewa Jacewicz

University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, USA

A comparison of vowel locations in the acoustic space between American English and German indicates that language-specific factors dictate the phonetic realization of phonemically equivalent vowels. Data are examined to determine whether and how beginning learners of German as a second language (L2) utilize their native English (L1) base of articulation in production of both equivalent and novel segments in L2. Acoustic results from native German, L2 German and L1 English productions shed more light on the issue. Beginning L2 learners transfer the relational distances among their equivalent L1 vowels, which act as general reference frames for placement of L2 categories, whereas novel segments are created without clear reference to L1.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Jacewicz, Ewa (1999): "The base-of-articulation effect in a second language", In ICPhS-14, 1451-1454.