On the pronunciation of L2 English word-final consonant clusters in monomorphemic vs. inflected words

Francisco Gallardo-del-Puerto, Kenneth Friedman.
Book Title
Rosario Arias, Miriam López Rodríguez, Antoni Moreno Ortiz & Chantal Pérez Hernández
226 - 231
Universidad de Málaga

It is claimed that Spanish speakers have great difficulty in producing the English –ed morpheme because it frequently involves final consonant sequences which are non-existent in Spanish. This exploratory study attempts to ascertain whether word-final consonant clusters are acquired differently in inflected words (passed) vs. monomorphemic words (past) by Spanish learners of English, as well as examining whether learners’ proficiency (beginner vs. intermediate) plays a role in such acquisition. Results from a sentence-reading/imitation exercise indicate that learners acquire clusters in monomorphemic words more successfully than those in inflected words, as they produce the former with greater frequency and accuracy, suggesting that phonology and morphology do indeed interact in interlanguages. Differences are particularly evident in the case of beginners, which may be interpreted as evidence for divergent learning rates for morphology and phonology. Additionally, intermediate learners clearly outperform beginners confirming that native language transfer effects are greater in the first stages of acquisition.