Vigo International Journal of Applied Linguistics VIAL

Gregory L. Thompson (1) and Alan V. Brown (2). Interlanguage variation: The influence of monitoring and contextualization on L2 phonological production. V VIAL. Number 9/2012: 107-132.


This exploratory study analyzes the production of the English /I/ in obligatory contexts by a Spanish-speaking L2 learner of English, whose native phonological system does not include /I/. This study investigates how context-defined by Duranti and Goodwin (1992) as "a frame that surrounds the event being examined and provides resources for its appropriate interpretation" -affects a speaker's ability to accurately produce native-like phonemes in her L2. The results of the study showed that the participant was most accurate in her production of /I/ in the more vernacular register, i.e. narration, than in the more formal register, i.e. minimal pair naming. Apparently, contextual clues influenced the speakers' pronunciation of semantically and phonologically familiar words. The presence of contextualized language appears to facilitate the speaker and activate not only lexical features but also phonological components. In spite of being familiar with the semantics and the phonology of the target words, the subject of the current study achieved greater phonological success with production when the words were contextualized.

Keywords: phonological variation, L2 English interlanguage, contextualized language, text type, Spanish-English bilinguals

(1) University of Central Florida, U.S.A.
(2) University of Kentucky, U.S.A.

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