Main Article Content
The Speech Learning Model states that the process of equivalence classification reduces the accuracy of a similar L2 sound by forming an L1-L2 merged category whereas new sounds tend to be pronounced with greater accuracy due to lack of perceptual linkage with an L1 category (Flege 1995). We found further support for this differentiation in the production of the canonical schwa as a new sound by L1 Polish/L2 English speakers and as a similar sound by L1 Romanian/L2 English speakers, who produced an L1-L2 schwa merger. The aim of the current paper is to further investigate the production accuracy of new and similar sounds. First of all, a control group that consisted of native Romanian speakers was used to analyse the L1-L2 similar sound merger. Secondly, a measure of overall pronunciation ability based on foreign accent ratings (FAR) was included. The results confirm that production accuracy for new sounds is much greater than for similar sounds which form merged diaphones with the equivalent L1 sound. As a result, neither sound is produced on target when compared to a native speaker reference. Moreover, new sound production accuracy benefits much more from an increase in general proficiency and overall L2 pronunciation ability.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
All papers published by the Yearbook of the Poznań Linguistic Meeting are published in an Open Access model using the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 Creative Commons licence.
Avram, Andrei. 1990. Remarques sur les voyelles neutres du roumain et du français. Word 24(1–3). 8–13.
Anghelina, Cătălin. 2008. On some of the uses of schwa (ă) in Romanian verbal morphology. RRL LIII. 529–532. Bucureşti.
Browman, Carol & Louis Goldstein. (1992). “Targetless” schwa: An articulatory analysis. In John Kingston & Mary E. Beckman (eds.), Papers in laboratory phonology ii, 26–56. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Chiṭoran, Ioana. 2002. The phonology of Romanian: A constraint-based approach. New York: Mouton de Gruyter.
Flege, James Emil. 1987. The production of “new” and “similar” phones in a foreign language: Evidence for the effect of equivalence classification. Journal of Pho-netics 15. 47–65.
Flege, James Emil. 1988. The production and perception of foreign languages. In Harris Winitz (ed.), Human communication and its disorders, 224–401. Nor-wood, NJ: Ablex.
Flege, James Emil. 1995. Second language speech learning: Theory, findings, and problems. In Winifred Strange (ed.), Speech perception and linguistic experi-ence: Issues in cross-language research, 233–276. Timonium, MD: York Press.
Flege, James Emil. 2002. Interactions between the native and second-language pho-netic systems. In Petra Burmeister, Thorsten Piske & Andreas Rohde (eds.), An Integrated View of Language Development: Papers in Honor of Henning Wode, 217–244. Trier: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag.
Flege, James Emil. 2005. Origins and development of the Speech Learning Model. Univ. of Alabama at Birmingham Keynote lecture presented at the 1st ASA Workshop on L2 Speech Learning Simon Fraser Univ., Vancouver, BC April 14–15, 2005.
Flege, James Emil & MacKay, Ian. 2004. Perceiving vowels in a second language. Studies in Second Language Acquisition 26, 1–34.
Flemming, Edward. 2004. Contrast and perceptual distinctiveness. In Bruce Hayes, Robert Kirchner & Donka Steriade (eds.), Phonetically-based Phonology, 232–276. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Flemming, Edward. 2007. The Phonetics of schwa vowels. Retrieved 20th May at
Flemming, Edward & Sarah Johnson. 2007. Rosa’s roses: reduced vowels in Ameri-can English. Journal of the International Phonetic Association 37, 83–96.
Heselwood, Barry. 2007. Schwa and the phonotactics of RP English. Transactions of the Philological Society 105(2). 148–187.
Jassem, Wiktor. 2003. Illustrations of the IPA: Polish. Journal of the International Phonetic Association 33(1). 103–107.
Khanjian, Hrayr. 2009. Stress Dependent Vowel Reduction. The Berkeley Linguis-tics Society 35th Annual Meeting, February 14–16 2009. Berkeley California. No 1.
Lass, Robert. 2009. On schwa: synchronic prelude and historical fugue. Donka Minkova (ed.), Phonological weakness in English: From Old to Present-Day English, 47–77. Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Lennes, Mette. 2003. Praat script: Get pitch formants and duration from labeled segments.
Lobanov, Boris M. (1971). Classification of Russian vowels spoken by different speakers, Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 49, 606–608.
MacKay, Ian, Flege, James Emil, Piske, Thorsten & Carlo Schirru. (2001). Category restructuring during second-language speech acquisition. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 110(1). 516–528.
Oostendorp, Marc van. (2000). Phonological Projection; A Theory of Schwa in Op-timality Theory. Berlin: Mouton De Gruyter.
Renwick, Margaret Elspeth Lambert. 2012. Vowels of Romanian: historical, phono-logical and phonetic studies. Ithaka, NY: The Cornell University PhD disserta-tion.
Renwick, Margaret Elspeth Lambert. 2014. The Phonetics and Phonology of Con-trast. Berlin: Mouton De Gruyter.
Roach, Peter. 2004. British English: Received Pronunciation. Journal of the Interna-tional Phonetic Association 34(2). 239–245.
Sarlin, Mika. 2014. Romanian grammar, 2nd ed. Helsinki: Books on Demand GmbH.
Silverman, Daniel. 2011. Schwa. Marc van Oostendorp, Marc, Colin J. Ewen, Eliza-beth Hume and Keren Rice (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to Phonology, 628–642.Blackwell Publishing.
Steriade, Donca. 2008. Contour correspondence: The segmental evidence. 11th International Symposium on Chinese Languages and Linguistics, National Chiao Tung University, Taiwan.
Sypiańska, Jolanta & Constantin, Elena-Raluca. 2018. Phonetic learnability and accuracy of new and similar L2 sounds. 12th International Conference on Native and Non-native Accents of English. University of Łódź.
Veloso, João. 2007. Schwa in European Portuguese: The Phonological Status of [ɨ]. In Olivier Crouzet & Jean Pierre Angoujard (eds.). Actes des/Proceedings of JEL’2007. Schwa(s). 5.èmes Journées d’Etudes Linguistiques, 55–60. Nantes: Université de Nantes.