Variability in L2 English pronunciation examined through the prism of phonetic imitation
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The paper is concerned with the imitation of vowel duration and quality upon exposure to native and non-native English speech. The participants were Polish learners of English recruited at the University of Lodz. The study aimed to determine whether the extent of phonetic imitation may be influenced by the model talker being a native or a non-native speaker of English and whether different imitation strategies may explain some of the variability in L2 speech. The results of the study suggest that phonetic imitation may account for some of the variability in L2 pronunciation and that the native/non-native status of the model talker may have a bearing on the direction of convergence. It was also found that the magnitude of imitation may depend on the degree to which a given L2 feature functions in the learners’ interlanguage.
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