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Innovation in second language phonology

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Abstract

The paper investigates a number of phonological features in Hong Kong English which appear to be &#8216;innovative&#8217; in the sense that they are attributable to neither the learner&#8217;s first language (Cantonese) nor the target language (English), nor to current second-language acquisition theories. These include: (1) Reduction of diphthongs to monophthongs when followed by stop consonants (as in <i>take</i>, <i>joke</i> and <i>town</i>); (2) raising of [ai] in certain environments (as in <i>mice</i> and <i>tight</i>); (3) &#8216;splitting&#8217; of one phonemic distinction (/v/) into two (/f/ and /w/, as in <i>even</i> [f] and <i>advice</i> [w]); (4) [l]~[n] alternation in syllable-initial position; (5) elision of the labial glide [w] in consonant clusters before rounded vowels (as in <i>quote</i> and <i>quarter</i>).

References

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