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The role of orthography in (apparent) L2 dialect acquisition

Drummond, Rob (2014) The role of orthography in (apparent) L2 dialect acquisition. English world-wide, 35 (3). 338–351.. ISSN 0172-8865


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This paper investigates the role of orthographic representation in the production of the local variant of the STRUT vowel in the speech of Polish migrants living in Manchester. A previous study (Drummond 2013) showed that acquisition of the local variant depended on various social factors, yet this only took into account conversation data, leaving some word list data unexplored. Comparing the two data sets reveals a difference in degree of acquisition, with the word list data producing more of the local vowel. This is explained not as a case of dialect acquisition as such, but more as an effect of orthography triggering a connection to the L1 phonology, the particular nature of which mimics acquisition of the local variant.

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