English /r/ in L2 and Pidgin/Creole Languages


  •  Ahmed Mousa    

Abstract

This study aims to investigate how Arab L1 learners of English and speakers of the Broad Jamaican Creole cope with the production of the approximant /r/ preconsonantly, post vocalically and in Stop+/r/ clusters, according to the RP norm. To this end, a list of words containing the approximant in the above three environments was given to the two groups, to read. Their production was tape recorded and transcribed. The approximant was nearly totally produced as trill in the three environments by the Arab learners, though one learner managed to produce an American-like /r/ in addition to the trill. On the other hand, the Jamaican informants produced the approximant according to the RP norm and as an American-like /r/. Whereas Lass’s (1984) assumption regarding the preference for trills proved to be true for the Arab learners, it was not the case with the Jamaican informants, in whose production trill was entirely absent. The study also provided further support to the view that phonological acquisition is achieved by gradual reinforcement of motor patterns.


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