Effects of Task Formality on Consonant Cluster Simplification for Taiwanese Learners with Limited English Proficiency

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Department of English, NTNU


本研究探討字詞長度與語體正式性,對低英語程度學生在母音插入和子音刪除之兩種音節簡化策略的使用。應用外語科二專部二年級20位學生參與本研究。他們接受三種語體的測驗:單字閱謗、單句閱讀、對話,以及問卷調查其背景資料和對子音串的成受。結果顯示: ( 1 )低英語程度學生較喜歡在字尾使用子音刪除策略,使字詞變為單音節,相較於字詞長度,子音串長度提供較為充分的證據影響子音串的簡化。(2) 學生之口語錯誤率依序為單字閱讀最低,其次為單句閱墳,而後為對話,此印證“正式等於正確"的公理。在三種正式/非正式語體中,學生一致使用子音刪除策略多於母音插入策略。(3)實際母音插入策略的使用,並未隨語體正式性而增加,此可能為低英語程度之台灣學生特有的狀況。尤其在對話部分(最不正式之語體) ,他們在表達英語時,同時必須考慮發音正確和言談內容,為避免發音不清楚,他們易過份強調字尾子音或刻意插入刷音以幫助聽者暸解。
This study investigates the effects of task fonnality on EFL students' choice of the simplification strategies of vowel epenthesis and consonant deletion. Twenty second-year students in a two-year program of a department of appliedforeign languages participated in this study. Three tasks, word list reading, sentence reading, and controlled conversation, and a questionnaire that probed participants' backgrounds and perceptions on consonant clusters were administered. The results showed that: (a) the choice of simplification strategies for Taiwanese leamers with limited English proficiency (LEP) revealed the preference for mono-syllabicity on word-final clusters by consonant deletion; cluster length was more critical to consonant cluster simplification than word length; (b) The order of the error rates was: word list < sentence < conversation, which confinned the fonnal equal accurate axiom. The deletion strategy was consistently used more often than the epenthesis strategy across tasks; (c) The actual epenthesis usage recorded did not increase as task fonnality increased, which might be a characteristic exclusive to Taiwanese leamers with LEP. These leamers with LEP were concemed with both fonn and content while delivering their speech. To avoid ambiguiyt, they tended to overemphasize target consonants or made an extra effort to aid listeners' understanding by inserting a schwa, especially in the conversational context.