/æ/ versus /ɑ/: Vowel fossilization in the pronunciation of Turkish English majors: Rehabilitation 1

Mehmet Demirezen

Abstract


In North American English (NAE) and British English, [æ] and [ɑ] are open vowel phonemes which are articulated by a speaker easily without a build-up of air pressure. Among all English vowels, the greatest problem for most Turkish majors of English is the discrimination of [æ] and [ɑ]. In English, [æ] is called the 'short a' or ash, and [ɑ] is termed as 'short o' or script-a, which has a soft nature in its pronunciation. [ɑ] exists in Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish. In addition, it exists in French vowel system, as in temps (time) and banc (bench). It is commonly known that non-native speakers of a language, such as Turks, who cannot hear different sounds, are probably not pronouncing [æ] and [ɑ] sounds correctly. The aim of this study is to uncover the difficult phonetic details of English [æ] and [ɑ] sounds for Turkish English majors, and teachers-on-the-job and propose a sample lesson plan to them.  


Keywords


vowel; phoneme; auditory discrimination; fossilization; phoneme awareness

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