American English Phonetics

Another American English Faculty Project

So far we have been mainly concerned with letter-phoneme correspondences in English (or the lack of them), with word stress, and with weak forms. That is, you have now been given all the information you need to enable you to determine the phonemic representation of GA words, and to no longer be misled by the spelling. But really, we have devoted very little attention to the second of the two problems identified in Chapter 1, that of interference from the native language. In this chapter we will therefore consider the process of learning the pronunciation of a second language and the difficulties created by this interference from the first language. Because in our case that first language is Dutch, we will introduce the phonemes of that language in the final sections of this chapter. But before we do so, we must have a look at the question of how phonemes are pronounced.