DIFFERENTIAL DIFFICULTY IN THE ACQUISITION OF SECOND LANGUAGE PHONOLOGY
AbstractThis paper reports on Mandarin speakers' acquisition of English final voiced and voiceless obstruents and final labial nasals, none of which occur in Mandarin codas. The leamers' production patterns are compared with a simulation using the Gradual Leaming Algorithm (Boersma & Hayes 2001). We dernonstrate that when the Mandarin Chinese rankings are assumed as the initial state and this system is provided with representative English input, the GLA correctly models the order of acquisition of obstruent codas (voiceless before voiced). However, the GLA also predicts that voiced obstruent codas should be acquired before coda labials, which are less frequent than voiced obstruents in English. This prediction is not bome out; speakers made fewer errors with final labial nasals than with final voiced obstruents. We argue that Mandarin speakers' native language perception grammar makes perception of final obstruents more difficult than perception of final nasals, and conclude that the Mandarin learners' pattern can be understood with reference to perceived rather than absolute frequency of input structure types.
The works published in this journal are subject to the following terms:
1. The Publications Services at the University of Murcia (the publisher) retains the property rights (copyright) of published works, and encourages and enables the reuse of the same under the license specified in item 2.
2. The works are published in the electronic edition of the magazine under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike 4.0.
3.Conditions of self-archiving. Authors are encouraged to disseminate pre-print (draft papers prior to being assessed) and/or post-print versions (those reviewed and accepted for publication) of their papers before publication, because it encourages distribution earlier and thus leads to a possible increase in citations and circulation among the academic community.
RoMEO color: green