Phonetic Feature Interpretation in Second Language Phonology: The Acquisition of the Final Obstruent Voicing Contrast
Keywords:voicing, obstruents, pre-fortis clipping
Although languages may share certain phonological features, their phonetic realizations can be variable. The classical example is the difference in VOT as the underlying factor of the binary distinction in voicing. In this paper, we examine the voicing contrast of English final obstruents (plosives and fricatives) in the production of native speakers of Serbian. The paper reports the results of a production experiment, in which 14 relatively proficient speakers of English as L2 read eight monosyllabic words (minimal pairs) inside frame sentences. Although both English and Serbian contrast final voiced and voiceless obstruents, the results indicate that L2 speakers in our study have not fully mastered the phonetic realization of word-final voicing in English, but greatly retain the phonetic realization of voicing typical of their L1.
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