Studies from German-speaking Europe
“Das Haus” or “das Aus”? – How French learners produce word-initial /h/ in German
In this article we investigate the production of /h/ by French learners of German. Based on the analysis of a learner corpus, the results indicate that French speakers encounter some difficulties producing /h/ native-like. First, they do so less often than native speakers, and the strategies they use when /h/ is omitted differ from native speakers’ strategies. With advanced proficiency, /h/-production is mastered better. However, when French speakers produce /h/ it also differs from native German /h/. Acoustic measurements (based on duration and intensity ratios) show that in general, French speakers hyperarticulate /h/. The findings reported here can be used in language teaching to reduce the amount of accentuation.
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