Volume 9, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2215-1931
  • E-ISSN: 2215-194X



The present study uses an acoustic analysis to examine the effects of implicit and explicit pronunciation instruction on the acquisition of German final devoicing in the L2 classroom. Twenty-nine English-speaking L2 learners of German at a North American university were assigned to an implicit or explicit condition. Learner speech samples were recorded, following a pre/post/delayed-post-test design. Four acoustic correlates of final and medial obstruent voicing were analyzed to establish the degree to which underlyingly voiced word-final stops were phonetically devoiced. Results indicate that learners in the explicit condition significantly outperformed learners in the implicit condition, with all four acoustic measures signaling significantly greater word-final devoicing by the post-test in the explicit condition. Orthography, declarative knowledge, and level of awareness are hypothesized as factors that influenced the acquisition process. The study calls for additional acoustic work on the effects of different instructional practices on German L2 pronunciation.

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