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Non-native Speech

A Corpus-based Analysis of Phonological and Phonetic Properties of L2 English and German


Ulrike Gut

Based on an innovative corpus-based approach, this book offers a comprehensive survey of the phonological and phonetic properties of L2 speech in English and German. The first part of the book critically examines current theoretical models and research methodologies in the field of second language acquisition of phonology and describes the advances that have been made in corpus linguistics over the past few years – in particular, the development of phonological learner corpora. It furthermore presents the first learner corpus of L2 English and L2 German that is fully aligned and has extensive phonological annotations: the LeaP corpus. The second part of the book describes the results of the quantitative and qualitative corpus analyses in the following areas of non-native speech: fluency, final consonant cluster realisation, vowel reduction and speech rhythm, intonation and general foreign accent. In addition, the influence of many non-linguistic factors, including instruction and a stay abroad, on the phonological properties of non-native speech is explored.


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5 Non-native Fluency 77


5 Non-native fluency One of the prominent features of the speech of many non-native speakers is its halting and interrupted character and the general impression it gives of a lack of fluidity and smoothness. This chapter is concerned with the fluency of non- native speech. Section 5.1 presents the different definitions and conceptions of fluency employed in linguistic and psycholinguistic research and language testing. After a description of the temporal correlates of fluency in section 5.2, the manifestation of those features in native speech is presented (section 5.3). Sections 5.4 to 5.7 are concerned with the relationship between speakers' fluency in their L 1 and L2, the correlation between non-native fluency and fluency ratings by native speakers, the improvement of non-native fluency in different learning contexts and the correlation between fluency and speaking style in non-native speech. An overview of the methodology and findings of all major studies an non-native fluency (section 5.8) is followed by a description of the aims and method of the corpus-based analysis of non-native speech carried out here (section 5.9). Section 5.10 presents the results of this analysis, and section 5.11 summarizes and discusses the findings. 5.1 Definitions of fluency Fluency is a term used by language teachers, language testers, researchers in second language acquisition, psycholinguists as well as by the public at large. In everyday language, it is often employed to describe the general mastery of a language and usually refers to the degree of command achieved by a speaker of a foreign language....

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