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Variable h-epenthesis in the interlanguage of francophone ESL learners


Variable h-epenthesis in the interlanguage of francophone ESL learners

John, Paul (2006) Variable h-epenthesis in the interlanguage of francophone ESL learners. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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This thesis investigates variable h-epenthesis by francophones in English (e.g., "I hurt my [h]ankle" vs. "my _ankle"). Speech samples from 15 francophones were analyzed via the statistical program GoldVarb. Since epenthetic segments are by definition absent from (and hence unfaithful to) input, h-epenthesis hypothetically results from the high ranking in interlanguage (IL) of the markedness constraint ONSET, which is commonly associated with consonant epenthesis. The finding of greater h-epenthesis in more formal speech, however, contradicts this analysis given that, cross-linguistically, the more formal the speech, the higher ranked the faithfulness constraints (Oostendorp, 1997). The solution lies in an output-output faithfulness constraint adapted from Bradley (to appear): MAX-OO-[h] ("An output [h] in native speaker (NS) English has an output correspondent in francophone IL output"). In this form of output-output correspondence, the output is generated not from the speaker's own input, as is usual, but from the prestige-variety NS output that the learner tries to duplicate, particularly in more formal contexts. Francophones strive to emulate NS output due to two realizations: they realize (1) that, given their pervasive h-deletion, a discrepancy exists between their own and NS output; and (2) that this discrepancy stems from the unreliability of their input forms, which lack underlying h due to francophones' (at least initial) inability to construct a phonemic representation for this non-native segment (Brown, 1997, 1998). Hypercorrect h-epenthesis is then generated because, rather than accurate NS output forms, speakers access an overly permissive output generalization

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Education
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:John, Paul
Pagination:xi, 131 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Applied Linguistics
Thesis Supervisor(s):Cardoso, Walcir
Identification Number:LE 3 C66E38M 2006 J66
ID Code:8780
Deposited By: Concordia University Library
Deposited On:18 Aug 2011 18:35
Last Modified:13 Jul 2020 20:05
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