Thai Students' Production of English Coda Clusters An Experiment on Sonority with Thai University Students Taking an English Fundamental Course

Main Article Content

Hieu Trung Le
Atipat Boonmoh

Abstract

In studies of English language learning and teaching, phonological development of second language (L2) learners has received considerable attention. Investigation of phonological acquisition, as well as problematic areas, are useful to predict difficulties that L2 speakers of English may confront when perceiving and producing particular sounds. Consequently, this research was initiated to understand how Thai students of English produce English coda clusters patterning Consonant-stops. To predict the areas of difficulty in producing such clusters, use was made of the Universal Principle (Sonority Sequencing Principle), together with the Markedness Differential Hypothesis established by Eckman (1977). This case study involved participation of 10 students who were taking a third fundamental English course at King Mongkut’s University of Technology, Thonburi, Thailand. The students were asked to produce target sounds in cluster elicitation tasks. The tasks required students to produce the target clusters in both formal and natural situations. Areas of difficulty in producing clusters for Thai learners of English were identified, though the hypothesis generated was not confirmed. Deletion and substitution were frequently used as ways to modify problematic clusters.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

Section
Original Articles
Author Biographies

Hieu Trung Le, King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi

Hieu Trung Le is a lecturer at School of Liberal Arts, King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi. He received a Master degree in Applied Linguistics - English Language Teaching at King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi, Thailand. His research interests include Phonology, Interlanguage, and World Englishes. He can be accessed at hieu.le@mail.kmutt.ac.th

Atipat Boonmoh, King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi

Atipat Boonmoh is an assistant professor at School of Liberal Arts, King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi, Thailand. He received his Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics and English Language Teaching from University of Warwick, UK. His research interests include lexicography, language learning, learning strategies, and intercultural communication.  He can be reached at atipat.boo@kmutt.ac.th

References

Broselow, E. (1987). Non-obvious transfer: On predicting epenthesis errors. In G. Ioup & S. Weinberger (Eds.), Interlanguage phonology: The acquisition of a second language sound pattern (pp. 279–291). Newbury House.

Broselow, E., & Finer, D. (1991). Parameter setting in second language phonology and syntax. Second Language Research, 7(1), 35–59.

Clement, G. (1992). The sonority cycle and syllable organization. In W. Dressler, H. Luschutzky, O. Pfeiffer, & J. Rennison (Eds.), Phonologica 1988 (pp. 63–76). Cambridge University Press.

Eckman, F. (1977). Markedness and the contrastive analysis hypothesis. Language Learning, 27(2), 315–330.

Eckman, F., Moravcsik, E., & Wirth, J. (1989). Implicational universals and interrogative structures in the interlanguage of ESL learners. Language Learnings, 39(2), 173–205.

Jantharat, P. (1995). Thai sound system and reading rules. White Lotus Press.

Kanokpermpoon, M. (2007). A preliminary investigation of English and Thai consonants. rEFLections, 10, 10–21.

Kenworthy, J. (1987). Teaching English pronunciation. Longman.

Ketkumbonk, A. (2015). Thai student’s recognition and production of English final consonant sounds [Unpublished master’s thesis]. King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi, Bangkok, Thailand.
Kruatrachue, F. (1960). Thai and English: A comparative study of phonology for pedagogical applications. Indiana University.

Lado, R. (1957). Linguistics across cultures. The University of Michigan Press.

Mano-im, R. (1999). The pronunciation of English final consonants clusters by Thai students [Unpublished master’s thesis]. Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand.

Hancock, M. (2014, September 8). On using the phonemic script in language teaching. Hancock McDonald. http://hancock mcdonald.com/ideas/using-phonemic-script-language-teaching

Noss, R. (1964). Thai: Reference grammar. Foreign Service Institute.

Patibat, N., & Cochran, C. (1997). An investigation of sonority dispersion in Thai-English interlanguage codas. In S. Buchner (Ed.), Working papers in linguistics (pp. 5–22). George Mason University.

Rasinger, S. (2013). Quantitative research in linguistics: An introduction. A &C Black.

Ronakiat, N., (2002). A textbook of sounds, sound system and accents in English. Thammasart University Press.

Sahatsathatsana, S. (2017). Pronunciation problems of Thai students learning English phonetics: a case study at Kalasin University. Journal of Education, Mahasarakham University, 11(4), 67–84.

Sherwin, S. (1999). The sonority sequencing principle in interlanguage phonology. Working papers in Linguistics (pp. 55–74). George Mason University. http://www.gmu.edu/org/lingclub/WP/texts/6_ Sherwin.pdf

Smyth, D. (2001). Thai speakers, In M. Swan & B. Smith (Eds.), Learner English: A teacher’s guide to interference and other problems (pp. 343–356). Cambridge University Press.

Tarone, E. (1979). Interlanguage as chameleon. Language Learning, 29(1), 181–191.

Trakulkasemsuk, W. (2012). Thai English. In Low, E., & Hashim, A. (Eds.), English in Southeast Asia: Features, policy and language in use (pp. 101–112). John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Tropf, H. (1986). Sonority as a variability factor in second language phonology. In A. James & J. Leather (Eds.), Sound patterns in second language acquisition (pp. 173–192). Foris.