Southwestern Mandarin Speakers' Production of English Work-Final /L/ and /N/

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2020
Authors
Zhang, Wei
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Pronunciation in Second Language Learning and Teaching 11
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Levis, John
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English

The Department of English seeks to provide all university students with the skills of effective communication and critical thinking, as well as imparting knowledge of literature, creative writing, linguistics, speech and technical communication to students within and outside of the department.

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The Department of English and Speech was formed in 1939 from the merger of the Department of English and the Department of Public Speaking. In 1971 its name changed to the Department of English.

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1939-present

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  • Department of English and Speech (1939-1971)

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Abstract
The study examines how Southwestern Mandarin (SW) speakers pronounce English words with final alveolar nasal or lateral consonants. In addition, the study examines the intelligibility of SW Mandarin speakers’ English word reading when heard by non-SW Mandarin Chinese English teachers. Twenty-five SW Mandarin speakers and forty nonSW Mandarin listeners were involved in the study. The results showed that SW Mandarin speakers do not consistently produce either word-final /n/ or /l/, most often deleting the final consonant, although word-final /n/ had a higher pronunciation accuracy rate than word-final /l/. Words that represented the most common mispronunciation, deletion, were played for non-SW Mandarin English teachers who were asked to write down the words that they heard. Results showed that deletions of both final /n/ and /l/ resulted in strong loss of intelligibility, suggesting that final deletions are important for intelligibility in English as a lingua franca interaction.
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Zhang, W. & Levis, J. (2020). Southwestern Mandarin speakers’ production of English word-final /l/ and /n/. In O. Kang, S. Staples, K. Yaw, & K. Hirschi (Eds.), Proceedings of the 11th Pronunciation in Second Language Learning and Teaching conference, ISSN 2380-9566, Northern Arizona University, September 2019 (pp. 292–303). Ames, IA: Iowa State University.
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