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Subject: Non-native pronunciation of English
Question: Many German adults learning English pronounce ''the'' something like ''ze'', whereas many Dutch pronounce it as ''de''. Neither German nor Dutch have a voiced /th/, but both languages have /d/ and /z/. So why does one language tend towards /z/ while the other tends to /d/?
Reply: Generally speaking, when speakers encounters a sound found in their language, their phonology will "repair" to a sound that is a close approximation. However, there may be multiple options for a repair, so there is some variation possible. The determination of what it will be is not always clear. The final outcome it may depend on phonetics of the individual language. In some cases, a pronunciation of a foreign sound may be culturally learned.
Reply From: Elizabeth J Pyatt      click here to access email
Date: 20-Sep-2012
Other Replies:
  1. Re: Non-native pronunciation of English    Geoffrey Richard Sampson     (20-Sep-2012)
  2. Re: Non-native pronunciation of English    Anthea Fraser Gupta     (22-Sep-2012)
  3. Re: Non-native pronunciation of English    Robert A Papen     (20-Sep-2012)

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