ERIC Number: ED240828
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982
Reference Count: 0
A New Look at a Cause of Foreign Accent.
Erazmus, Edward T.
American Language Journal, v1 n1 p57-70 Fall 1982
The theory of articulatory setting, originally published in 1964, is outlined and expanded on, drawing on experiences with Polish and English. The theory proposes that each language has a unique configuration of articulators accounting for or establishing the natural sounds of that language that give it phonological unity and differentiate it from other languages. Articulatory setting is the tongue's position relative to the teeth. In applying the theory to Polish articulation, it was discovered that English and Polish have opposite articulatory settings, illustrating four points about the theory: (1) although some parts of the tongue are in constant motion in speech, the tongue anchorage is firm and stable; (2) if it can be observed at all, the anchorage is particularly visible during vowel production; (3) the phoneme descriptions of a language must be expressed in terms of anchorage if they are to be useful; and (4) what results in language learning is a compromise between the settings of the native and target languages, producing a foreign accent. It is suggested that articulatory setting be explained to second language learners and be used as a teaching tool, to help students control articulation and work comfortably within each setting. Use of imitation should follow, not precede, students' understanding of articulatory setting. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Journal Articles
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A