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ERIC Number: ED140640
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1977-Jan
Pages: 13
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Spoken and Written Communication: Are Five Vowels Enough?
Abbott, Gerry
The comparatively small vowel inventory of Bantu languages leads young Bantu learners to produce "undifferentiations," so that, for example, the spoken forms of "hat,""hut,""heart" and "hurt" sound the same to a British ear. The two criteria for a non-native speaker's spoken performance are generally considered to be intelligibility and acceptability. Conformity to a standard such as British Received Pronunciation is not desirable in terms of the quality of the learner's sounds, but the quantity of phonemic distinctions the learner makes should approach the number made by a native speaker of English; otherwise intelligibility suffers and misspellings result. A simple psychological model of a typical spelling task is offered and some results of an analysis of spelling errors are cited in support. Three conclusions are offered: (1) the learner needs to be able to differentiate the sounds of English (especially the vowels) if he is to spell correctly; (2) many apparently morphological errors may be attributable to pronunciation problems; and (3) one criterion for the standard of pronunciation required in any region might be that the standard should facilitate accurate spelling. (Author/CFM)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Africa