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

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

Transfer Effects in the Production of English Vowels by Japanese Learners

Katsumasa Shimizu

Faculty of Foreign Studies, Nagoya Gakuin University, Seto, Aichi, Japan

The present study examines transfer effect in learning English pronunciation by Japanese learners of English. They are known to have pronunciation difficulty accommodating non-native target sounds, and the production of L2 (target language) sounds depends on, in part, how they have established phonetic criteria for L2 nonnative contrasts. Acoustic analysis was made on vowels in Japanese, American English, and interlanguage. The results of the analysis indicate that they appear to use the acoustic space of L1 vowels in the production of L2 vowels and there are differences in transfer effects among English vowels. This implies that Japanese learners, depending on the their level of proficiency, are affected by negative transfer effects from L2 pronunciation strategy. Although there are several hypotheses on cross-language production, the present study provides an evidence to support the model of perceptual discrimination on a range of L1 assimilation.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Shimizu, Katsumasa (1999): "Transfer effects in the production of English vowels by Japanese learners", In ICPhS-14, 1463-1465.