It is generally accepted that clusters with a large sonority distance between C1 and C2 are less marked than those with a small (or negative) sonority distance. Morelli (2003) suggests that clusters that violate the OCP for continuance are more marked than those that do not. These two universals, sonority distance and OCP, make opposite predictions for the onset clusters in English words such as stop and swim. The current study examines the effect of continuance and sonority distance on L2 English learners whose L1s do not allow onset clusters. Participants are 8 L2 English learners from Mandarin Chinese, Cantonese, and Japanese L1s. Results show a difference in the production of sC clusters and the production of CC clusters. sC clusters that obey OCP[+cont] are significantly more likely to be produced correctly than those that violate OCP[+cont]. Among CC clusters, continuance is not a factor in correct production. L2 English learners whose L1s do not have onset clusters seem to be sensitive to continuance in English onset clusters.
Selected Proceedings of the 5th Conference on Generative Approaches to Language Acquisition North America (GALANA 2012)
edited by Chia-Ying Chu, Caitlin E. Coughlin, Beatriz Lopez Prego, Utako Minai, and Annie Tremblay Table of contents
ISBN 978-1-57473-463-8 library binding
v + 190 pages
publication date: 2014
published by Cascadilla Proceedings Project, Somerville, MA, USA