International Journal of Language & Linguistics

ISSN 2374-8850 (Print), 2374-8869 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/ijll

The Fossilized Pronunciation of the /æ/ Sound in the Speech of Advanced U.P.KAN English Students
Guillaume Marie Kanyandu Betu, Chef de Travaux

Fossilization is a widespread phenomenon in second language learning and is commonly acknowledged in the field of Second Language Acquisition. This study aims to investigate a hypothetically fossilized feature in U.P.KAN (Université Pédagogique de Kananga) English learners’ speech, specifically the pronunciation of the /æ/ sound among U.P.KAN English Students. It attempts to display whether these students pronounce it properly or whether it is rather frequently substituted by alternative phoneme. The paper also has a stab at showing the circumstances behind fossilization. It is assumed that phonological fossilized errors made by our subjects result mainly from the language transfer. Pedagogical factors also contribute to the making of pronunciation errors and to their being fossilized. Furthermore, some pronunciation errors are inherited from teachers. Finally, to reduce fossilization of the sound [?], the study suggests applying ‘choral and individual pronunciation’, describing how the sound is made with the speech organs and, using the phonetic symbol to indicate the sound. The slight distortion of the [?] towards central [?] will be imitated as an almost correct [?] sound as well.

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