Volume 26, Issue 3
  • ISSN 0172-8865
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9730
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English as spoken as a second language in India (IE) has developed different sound patterns from other varieties of English. While most descriptions of IE have focused on the English of speakers whose first languages belong to the Indo-Aryan or Dravidian families, in this study, I examine the phonetic and phonological characteristics of the English produced by speakers of three Indian L1s from the Tibeto-Burman language family (Angami, Ao, and Mizo). In addition to describing aspects of Tibeto-Burman Indian English, a previously unreported Indian English variety, I also examine how and why this variety of English differs from General Indian English. The English of Tibeto-Burman L1 speakers seems to form a variety distinct from Indian English, most noticeably in terms of the lack of retroflexion of coronal consonants, the devoicing of word-final obstruents, the simplification of consonant clusters, the presence of post-vocalic [p], and the reduced set of vowel contrasts. Most of these can be traced to transfer from the L1 phonology, with the coda devoicing and cluster reductions reflecting simplification in terms of markedness, following developmental sequences found in second language acquisition.


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