Ask-A-Linguist Message Details
|Subject:||Non-native pronunciation of English|
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/?
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|