The Phonetics and Phonology of English Casual Speech: Learning from L2 Learners
Keywords:casual speech, second language learning, Phonology, Articulatory Phonology, Korean, accented English, nasal assimilation
This paper examines processes of “connected” or “casual” speech in second language pronunciation, focusing on the speech of Korean learners of English. The paper begins with the point of view of Articulatory Phonology, which argues that many assimilations and deletions in casual speech are the result of overlap between articulatory gestures. Examples from English and Russian illustrate gestural overlap. Further examples are provided from a more detailed phonetic study of processes of nasalization and voicing assimilation in Korean and Korean-accented English (Zsiga 2011). The Korean-English data show evidence of gradient gestural overlap in voicing assimilation, and in some instances of partial nasal assimilation, supporting the Articulatory Phonology approach. Many instances of categorical nasal substitution were also found, however. It is argued that a more traditional phonological feature-changing analysis better accounts for the categorical changes. Both Articulatory Phonology and traditional feature-based phonology are required to account for the full set of data.
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