The Difficulty of North American – r: an Analysis as a Pronunciation Difficulty

Demirezen, Mehmet (2011) The Difficulty of North American – r: an Analysis as a Pronunciation Difficulty. In: 1st International Conference on Foreign Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics (FLTAL’11), 5-7 May 2011, Sarajevo.

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The American-r phoneme, whose IPA sign is , which is a retroflex case of pronunciation, represents a very serious stumbling block in teaching standard American pronunciation to Turks. Due to use of different primary articulators (tongue tip vs. tongue dorsum, the American English phoneme / / has long been associated with relatively large amounts of articulatory variabilities as tap, flap, approximant, and the like. The endpoints of the articulatory continuum for / / can be analyzed via functionally different articulatory configurations with the accompaniment of different primary articulators (tongue tip vs. tongue dorsum). These endpoints as a different type of / / have been characterized in the literature as ―bunched‖ which means the use of tongue dorsum and ―retroflexed‖ that signifies the use of the tongue blade/tip, which gets to be a pronunciation difficulty for Turkish teachers of English. The primary purpose of the current study is to investigate the problematic pronunciation issue of American English /r/ phoneme for Turks. The goal of the present study is twofolded. The first goal is to solve the serious confusion in the definition of taps and flaps, and the second is to explore the phonetic context of word-initial-medial-final flapping of / / into retroflexion in North American English (NAE) and tapping in British English (BrE) via its ambiguous perception by Turks due to such observable entities, namely, preceding or following sound, intervocalic positioning through phonotactics and crosslanguage phonetic interference.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: flapping, retroflexion, bunched articulation, tapping, neutralization
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Depositing User: Users 4 not found.
Date Deposited: 08 Feb 2012 12:36
Last Modified: 05 Mar 2012 08:42

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