ERIC Number: ED161282
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1977
Reference Count: N/A
A Study of English Second Language Phonology. CUNYForum, No. 3.
Vago, Robert M.; Altenberg, Evelyn
This study identified two types of interference between Hungarian and English: phonetic and phonological interference. Four native speakers of Hungarian who are second language speakers of English read a passage containing a wide variety of sounds in different phonological environments. A set of rules mapping American English onto Hungarian-accented English was then written for each speaker. Subjects B, C, and D represented a broader class of subjects than subject A, who was younger and highly educated. As B is considered typical, this study describes and compares the mapping rules of subjects A and B only. In the case of subject B, all English sounds not occurring in Hungarian undergo substitution, whereas for subject A such substitutions are minimal. Both subjects make phonetic substitutions for sounds occurring in Hungarian but not in English. Available data indicate that the only Hungarian phonological rule that interferes is voicing assimilation and that this interference is optional. Both subjects used a type of rule characterized as "natural," which apparently arises from an innate conception of a simpler pronunciation. Finally, subject B's data indicated two other types of mispronunciation classified as "spelling" and "idiosyncratic" pronunciation. Out of 56 college students, 49 selected subject A as the more "native sounding" speaker. Therefore, it was concluded that the specific differences noted between the speech of subject A and subject B contribute to one's ability to substantively characterize the notion of "degree of foreign accent." (AMH)
Descriptors: Comparative Analysis, Consonants, Contrastive Linguistics, Descriptive Linguistics, Distinctive Features (Language), English (Second Language), Error Analysis (Language), Hungarian, Interference (Language), Language Patterns, Language Proficiency, Language Research, Phonetic Analysis, Phonetics, Phonology, Pronunciation, Second Language Learning, Vowels
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: City Univ. of New York, NY. Graduate School and Univ. Center.