Capstone/Dissertation Title

An analysis of Somali pronunciation errors




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This study examines the pronunciation of six phonemes /p,b,t,d,f,v/ pronounced in English and Somali words by Somali ELLs. All six of the phonemes appear in the phonemic inventory of English, but Somali has phonemes /b,t,d,f/ in a more restrictive distribution than English. The goal of the study is to determine if Somali ELLs differ production of phonemes between Somali and English. Phonemes were analyzed in terms of voice onset timing (VOT), vowel length, and manner of articulation. Speaking samples were collected in English from a reading word list and a story retell Somali words were collected by an identification of pictures. Results show that there are some aspects of language that transfer with ease such as /f,t/, and other aspects have native language (L1) interference /p,b/ and voicing /d/ presented difficulty for the participants in the study.