Nativelike pronunciation among late learners of French as a second language

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This experimental study examines the pronunciation of a group of Anglophone late learners of French as a second language. Following Flege’s SLM, recorded read-alouds of word lists are subjected to acoustical analysis at the segmental level (vowel duration and VOT). At the global level of analysis, recorded readalouds of prose paragraphs are judged by native speakers. Nativelikeness is observed among some subjects across all tasks and levels of analysis. These results suggest that nativelike pronunciation is not out of the grasp of late L2 learners. We also examine the relationship between results at the segmental and global levels of analysis; some evidence suggests that performance at the global level predicts performance at the segmental level, but not vice versa. Also considered are the contributions to nativelike pronunciation of biographical factors such as motivation and phonetic training.


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