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ERIC Number: ED535966
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 200
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-2670-5365-7
The Discrimination, Perception, and Production of German /r/ Allophones by German Speakers and Two Groups of American English Speakers
Tepeli, Dilara
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The University of Wisconsin - Madison
The German /r/ sound is one of the most difficult sounds for American English (AE) speakers who are learning German as a foreign language to produce. The standard German /r/ variant [/R/] and dialectal variant [R] are achieved by varying the tongue constriction degree, while keeping the place of articulation constant [Schiller and Mooshammer (1995)]. The close articulatory proximity of these allophones provides an opportunity for testing the relationship between perception and production in L2 sound acquisition. The aim of this dissertation is to investigate how well native German speakers, experienced AE speakers, and inexperienced AE speakers can discriminate and produce the difference between the uvular fricative [/R/] versus the uvular trill [R]. Predictions of the Speech Learning Model (SLM) framework will be used to predict English speakers results (Flege, 1995). Native German speakers participated in an imitation study and discrimination experiment. Two groups of AE subjects performed the same experiments in addition to a categorization test. The production studies revealed that native speakers can reliably produce the difference between uvular trills and fricative. However, significant variation in trill production was observed among native German participants. Production scores among experienced AE speakers were more varied relative to native speakers, while inexperienced AE speakers achieved the lowest production scores. All three subject groups performed similarly well on the discrimination test, indicating that all three groups are presumably relying on the same acoustic cues to distinguish [R ] vs. [/R/]. Outcomes of the perception experiment confirmed that experienced AE listeners were more consistent and confident in their "foreign r" category selection than inexperienced AE listeners. Subsequent Spearman rank correlation analysis revealed a significant relationship between uvular fricative production scores and categorization/discrimination scores for experienced AE speakers, but not for the uvular trill. No significant relationships emerged for the uvular trill and uvular fricative among the group of inexperienced AE subjects. Outcomes for each L2 subject group are discussed with respect to predictions made by the SLM. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A