Studies from German-speaking Europe
The influence of orthographic input on pronunciation: The case of assimilation across word boundaries in second language Danish
This paper aims at investigating whether orthographic input affects the pronunciation of second language learners of Danish in terms of assimilation over word boundaries. With regard to Danish, this field of research is particularly interesting, because there is a high discrepancy between the orthography and pronunciation of Danish (Davidsen-Nielsen, 2003), and this discrepancy is prominent in assimilation across word boundaries. Individual and group audio recordings of 12 Swiss university students of Danish as a foreign language were analysed for assimilation across word boundaries in 11 selected phrases that are usually assimilated in first language speakers. The results show that orthography has a different effect on the realisation of vowels as compared to the realisation of consonants. Furthermore, an interaction of speech style was found: Whereas for consonants, orthography has a lower effect on spontaneous speech than on read speech, for vowels, orthography is similarly influential in all recording conditions.
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