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Laparoscopic Endoscopic Surgical Science Epenthesis in the Production of English Consonant Clusters by Tunisian EFL Learners [ALRJournal]
ALRJournal. 2019; 3(4): 33-44 | DOI: 10.14744/alrj.2019.87487

Epenthesis in the Production of English Consonant Clusters by Tunisian EFL Learners

Nadia Bouchhioua
Department of English, La Manouba University, Tunis, Tunisia

The production of English consonant clusters by L2 speakers, whose native languages do not have a complex syllable structure, is often reported to be challenging. Unlike most varieties of Arabic, Tunisian Arabic (TA) disposes of a flexible syllable structure that allows two consonant clusters in different word positions. The present study explores the production of English consonant clusters by L2 speakers of English whose native language is TA. It also seeks to examine the effect of presence of epenthesis on their perceived comprehensibility and degree of foreign accent. A conversation containing target words with different types of clusters and in different positions was read aloud and role played by English major Tunisian students. An auditory and acoustic analysis of the target items was performed and results revealed that these English learners used epenthesis with three consonant clusters only. Native speakers of English rated their comprehensibility and their degree of foreign accent. Results showed that while the comprehensibility of these learners was unaffected by their use of epenthesis in target words, their degree of foreign accent highly was. The significance of the results is discussed in relation to second language phonological acquisition and pronunciation learning and teaching research.

Keywords: English consonant clusters, Epenthesis, L2 pronunciation, Tunisian Arabic

Nadia Bouchhioua. Epenthesis in the Production of English Consonant Clusters by Tunisian EFL Learners. ALRJournal. 2019; 3(4): 33-44

Corresponding Author: Nadia Bouchhioua, Tunisia
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