Phonotactics in L2 and Pidgin/Creole Languages


  •  Ahmed Mousa    

Abstract

This study investigates the production of English initial consonant clusters by Arabic L1 learners of English and speakers of the Broad Jamaican Creole. The clusters Stop + /r/, /S/ + nasal, /S/ + stop, in addition to the production of vowel-initial words are focused on. It was found out that whereas Arab learners produced initial Stop + /r/ and /S/ + nasal words with epenthesis and /S/ + stop words with prosthesis as well as epenthesis, speakers of the Broad Jamaican Creole produced Stop + /r/ and /S/ + stop clusters according to the RP norm and /S/ + nasal with epenthesis. As for vowel-initial words, both groups resorted to the strategy of onset filling (Itô, 1989). Specifically, Arab learners produced these words with glottal stop /ʔ/ before the initial vowel, whereas the Jamaican informants inserted glottal fricative /h/ in the same position. Furthermore, the performance of the two groups was additionally analyzed in light of Optimality Theory.



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