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Academic Paper

Title: Laryngeal Systems in Dutch, English, and German: A Contrastive Phonological Study on Second and Third Language Acquisition
Author: Ellen Simon
Institution: Ghent University
Author: Torsten Leuschner
Institution: Ghent University
Linguistic Field: Applied Linguistics; Phonology
Subject Language: Dutch
Abstract: Although Dutch, English, and German all have a phonological contrast between voiced and voiceless plosives, they differ in the way these stops are realized. While English and German contrast voiceless aspirated with phonetically voiceless stops, Dutch has a contrast between voiceless unaspirated and prevoiced stops. This study compares these three laryngeal stop systems and examines the acquisition of the English and German systems by a group of native speakers of Dutch. The analysis reveals that both trained and untrained participants transferred prevoicing from Dutch into English and German but acquired aspiration and thus showed a “mixed” laryngeal system in both their L2 (English) and their L3 (German). Since even untrained participants produced voiceless stops in the target Voice Onset Time range, pronunciation training has only a moderate effect.


This article appears IN Journal of Germanic Linguistics Vol. 22, Issue 4, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .

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