Initial glottalization and final devoicing in polish English
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This paper presents an acoustic study of the speech of Polish leaners of English. The experiment was concerned with English sequences of the type George often, in which a word-final voiced obstruent was followed by a word-initial vowel. Acoustic measurements indicated the degree to which learners transferred Polish-style glottalization on word-initial vowels into their L2 speech. Temporal parameters associated with the production of final voiced obstruents in English were also measured. The results suggest that initial glottalization may be a contributing factor to final devoicing errors. Adopting English-style ‘liaison’ in which the final obstruent is syllabified as an onset to the initial vowel is argued to be a useful goal for English pronunciation syllabi. The implications of the experiment for phonological theory are also discussed. A hierarchical view of syllabic structures proposed in the Onset Prominence environment allows for the non-arbitrary representation of word boundaries in both Polish and English.