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Jilani S. Warsi
Abstract of MA Thesis


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Effects of Transfer on Interlanguage Phonology

While acquiring a second language phonology, the learners internalize a system of phonological rules which may be distinct from the target language and the native language. This structured system which learners construct during the process of second language acquisition is termed interlanguage. Interlanguage phonology has become an important area of investigation leading to the resurgence of interest in the phonological aspects of second language acquisition research. This study examined the role of language transfer in determining the form of interlanguage phonology. It also attempted to verify the predictions made by contrastive analysis; a pedagogical tool used to predict areas of difficulty for language learners in acquiring a second language. The speech data of native Hindi speakers, speaking English, were audiotaped for transcription and analysis. Close inspection of the data analysis revealed that transfer is not the only process operating to shape interlanguage phonology. The concepts of markedness, language transfer, and developmental universals are clearly evident and interact with one another in many interesting ways, yielding differing degrees of variation. This study also provided some evidence that the contrastive analysis hypothesis is not tenable unless it incorporates universal properties of second language acquisition.

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