Effects of L1 orthography and L1 phonology on L2 English pronunciation

Paolo Mairano, Bene Bassetti, Mirjana Sokolović-Perović, Tania Cerni

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    3 Citations (Scopus)


    Recent research has revealed the effects of orthography on the pronunciation of consonant durations in the L2 English of L1 Italian speakers (e.g. the [p] in floppy being pronounced as longer than in copy). In this paper we compared this orthographic effect with an orthography-independent effect of L1 phonology, namely VOT. We measured closure durations and VOT for plosives produced by 30 learners of L2 English in Italy, 30 Italian late bilingual speakers of L2 English living in the UK, and 30 native English speakers. While VOT values produced by late bilinguals differed significantly from those produced by learners, closure durations were similar across the two groups. Additionally, L1 Italian VOT values proved that late bilinguals adapted VOT in L2 English by a larger extent than learners. It appears that the effects of orthography on L2 consonant duration can be more resistant to naturalistic L2 exposure than orthography-independent effects of L1 phonology.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)45-57
    Number of pages13
    JournalRevue Francaise de Linguistique Appliquee
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2018


    • pronunciation
    • orthography
    • gemination
    • VOT


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