L-vocalization: Its Transfer into English in the Speech of Bulgarian English Learners


Fall 10-20-2014



Degree Name


Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Anne DeMuth

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

Elizabeth Will

Peer-Reviewer/Reader Two

Emma Skallman


This study examines l-vocalization, a linguistic phenomenon where speakers pronounce /l/ as [w], in the speech of Bulgarian English speakers. Findings suggest that if Bulgarians l-vocalize in Bulgarian, then they transfer l-vocalization into English. This case study collected oral and written data from seven highly advanced English speaking Bulgarian women. The participants read two paragraphs aloud, one in English and one in Bulgarian, and completed a questionnaire about their linguistic and educational backgrounds. The main findings of this study are 1) all participants l-vocalize in Bulgarian and English, 2) participants vocalize significantly more in Bulgarian than they do in English, 3) participants use Bulgarian phonological rules to l-vocalize in English, and 4) age, educational background, and hometown in Bulgaria do not seem to have a connection with level of vocalization.


ESL/ ELLs, Interlanguage Transfer of L-Vocalization

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