English and Turkmen pronunciation: common errors and their causes | Статья в журнале «Молодой ученый»

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Автор:

Рубрика: Филология, лингвистика

Опубликовано в Молодой учёный №26 (212) июнь 2018 г.

Дата публикации: 27.06.2018

Статья просмотрена: 75 раз

Библиографическое описание:

Карпова, А. М. English and Turkmen pronunciation: common errors and their causes / А. М. Карпова. — Текст : непосредственный // Молодой ученый. — 2018. — № 26 (212). — С. 194-197. — URL: https://moluch.ru/archive/212/51744/ (дата обращения: 05.07.2020).



In our research we study pronunciation problems of Turkmen studients that connected with their interference peculiarites. The aim of our research was to compare English and Turkmen phonetics. To achieve this goal we used such methods as observation, questionnaire and recording test. As a result we found the most common problems and their causes. The research allows Turkmen students avoid many possible pronunciation errors as well as phoneticians to foster theoretical knowledge in comparative linguistics.

Key words: phonetics, interference, Turkmen, English.

  1. Introduction

All around the world, there are a lot of people who wants to learn English and sound like a native speaker. There are lots of researches devoted to the phonetic system of the English language itself and the problems of it interference. The term interference refers to the influence of one language (or variety) on another in the speech of bilinguals who use both languages.

Many studies were contributed to the errors made by the non-native speakers and systematize their. So the researchers concluded that the main problem of the speakers of other languages who speak English, are:

‒ substitution of sounds i. e. they substitute the sounds that they don’t have in their native language, with other sounds which are close to them in the place of articulation e. g. they replace /p/ with /b/, /θ/ with /s/ etc.

‒ pronouncing every letter in the words

‒ devoicing the sounds

Although similar problems exist in different languages and they were studied in many European and Asian phonetics, Turkmen language hasn’t been studied before from this point of view. So that is why this research was intended to fill a gap. In addition the research is seeking the shifting of particular sounds with others and to try to find the exact reasons for such errors. For example, these may be errors related to the mother tongue interference, sound system differences between the native and the foreign language.

The importance of this study is the fact that this problem was never investigated before. This study is to help Turkmen students and teachers of English evade these errors.

  1. Literature review

We all know that the pronunciation problems are very important for everyone who studies foreign languages. As far as English is a popular language many people of different countries want to study English. That's why a lot of researchers contributed their papers to the problem. These works may be divided into two groups: the works of native speakers and the works of other scholars studying the interference.

The first group of authors usually speaks of the practical ways to improve English, of the pronunciation exercises or theory of pronunciation, different accents. In their works they rarely mention the influence of other languages on English. For example, such authors as Mark Hancock (Hancock 2003, 124), Martin Hewings (Hewings 2007, 15), Susan Cameron (Cameron 2012,121), Gerald Kelly (Kelly 2001, 12) give some theoretical information. They explain how the sound should be pronounced, how to differ the sounds and give examples, exercises and so on. Almost all of the authors don't mention the possible difficulties for the speakers of different languages. They just show the examples to follow. Some of the authors include this information into the teachers' books, for example Ann Baker (Baker 1982, 153). However, the teacher's book wasn't reprinted or re-edited with the student's books.

The second group of authors usually focuses on the influence of the mother-tongue, which is called interference. There are many works devoted to the problem of phonetic interference of the native while learning English. For example, such authors as Budnik E. A. (Budnik 2009, 11), Vinogradov V. A. (Vinogradov 2003, 168), Vorobieva V. V.(Vorobieva 2014, 115) devoted their works to this problem. These researches are frequently conducted and it is noted that there are a lot of common pronunciation problems even among the speakers of different language families. The researchers think that the general reason is that some English sounds do not exist in other languages and vice versa.

But according to this main problem there are lots of specific ones in each language and they should be studied. Unfortunately nowadays only main European and Asian languages are done properly. It is possible to find researches on the Turkic, Arabian language, but not so many. The works, devoted to the Turkmen language and its influence on English are very rare, for example, such authors as Kopirina M. V. and Shadshikov E. T. (Kopirina, Shadshikov 2015, 2) worked on it.

So this research aims to study the problems of interference of a native language to English in the Turkmen context.

  1. Method

To achieve our goals the methods of observation, recording and questionnaire were used in this study. The data has been collected from 15 first year Turkmen students of the English Department at ULSPU.

The students were observed during several lessons. The researcher noted their pronunciation errors and transfer maked notes into a structured questionnaire. It contained 22 items which reflect the opinions and the ideas of the students about the pronunciation of some sounds. In the questionnaire each student was asked to choose one answer according to the Tri Reression Measurement, which contained three levels (agree-not sure-disagree).

To study the most common errors the researcher asked Turkmen students to read a text. There were words and phrases which were expected to be difficult to pronounce by the students. In this text the target sounds may be replaced with others which articulation may be close to them. The text was chosen from a class book, so there weren’t any new or unfamiliar words. The students were to read the text one by one, they were not allowed to listen to each other. Their voices were recorded on a digital recorder. Then the tapes were transcribed and analyzed. At the end of the process the errors were analyzed descriptively and statistically

  1. Results

The purpose of the research is to identify the phonetic mistakes of Turkmen students while they are reading English.

The mistakes may be divided into two groups: vowel and consonant.

The most common mistake is mispronouncing of diphthongs and triphthongs. Look at the table 1.

Table 1

word

Reader

1

3

6

7

9

12

[nəu] know

[nau]

[m'eɪts] mates

[mеts]

[mеtes]

[mеts]

[hauswaɪf] house-wife

[hausuoɪf]

[hauzwaɪf]

[maɪs] mice

[mɪs]

[mɪs]

[haus] house

[hous]

[n'au] now

[nou]

[nau]

All: 10

There is also a problem of substitution of vowels with other sounds which are close to them in the place of articulation. You may see them in tab. 2.

Table 2

word

Reader

1

3

4

5

7

10

[ɪˈlɪzəbəθ]

Elizabeth

[eˈl*zəbet]

[eˈl*zəvet]

[eˈlzəbet]

[eˈl*θəbet]

[eˈl*zəbet]

[eˈl*zəbet]

['sɪstə] sister

['s*ste]

All: 7

As you can see from the table 2, the sound [ɪ] is often replaced with the sound [ɨ].

Sometimes Turkmen students tend to insert vowels between consonants or devoice final consonants. You may note this in table 3.

Table 3

word

Reader

1

3

6

7

8

11

[meɪts] mates

[mеts]

[mеtes]

[mеts]

['sʌmtaɪmz] sometimes

['somtaɪm*s]

['somtaɪmes]

['somtaɪmes]

['sʌmtaɪmes]

birds

[bɜːdes]

All: 6

Almost all the problems with consonants seem to be connected with the letter combination “th”. We should notice that “th” may be read as: /z/, /v/, /s/, /tz/. More examples you can see in Table 4.

Table 4

word

Reader

1

2

3

4

5

6

[smɪθ] Smith

[smɪs]

[smɪts]

[smɪs]

[smɪs]

[ðem] them

[sem]

[sem]

[sem]

[ðeɪ] they

[zeɪ]

[zeɪ]

[zeɪ]

[zeɪ]

['brʌðə] brother

['brʌsə]

['brʌzə]

['brʌzə]

['brʌzə]

['mʌðə] mother

['mʌvə]

['mʌzə]

['mʌzə]

['mʌzə]

['fɑːðə] father

['fɑːvə]

['fɑːzə]

['fɑːzə]

['fɑːzə]

[ðə] the

[se]

[ze]

Table 5 shows us that the sound [ʤ] is hard to pronounce right. The most common problem here is devoicing.

Table 5

Word

Reader

1

2

6

11

['kɔlɪʤ] college

['kɔlet∫]

['kɔlet∫]

['iːgə] eager

[ˈeɪdʒər]

['iːdʒær]

[ˈeɪdʒər]

In addition we should note that letter “w” is often read incorrectly. You may see it in Table 6

Table 6

Word

Reader

1

2

3

6

7

8

9

11

['twɛntɪ tuː]

twenty-two

['tvɛnʧɪ tuː]

[zwɛn'tɪ t'u]

['twɛntɪ tu]

['raɪtə]

writer

['ueraɪtə]

['uraɪtə]

[nəu]

know

[nau]

[ɪnlɔː]

in-law

[ɪnlʌu]

[ɪnlʌu]

[ɪnlʌf]

[hauswaɪf] house-wife

[hausuoɪf]

---

[hauzwaɪf]

[wiː]

we

[viː]

[uiː]

[viː]

[wiː]

[nau]

now

[nou]

[nau]

All: 17

  1. Discussion

The hypothesis was that the problem of the interference of the mother tongue influence learning English. One of the main goals of the study was to find common pronunciation mistakes of the Turkmen students and their reasons.

Ann Baker (Baker 1982, 122) in her books listed some general pronunciation mistakes for those whose mother tongue is from the Turkic language family. We found that our results are consistent to hers. We believe that the main causes of the mistakes are:

‒ inconsistency between English letters and sounds,

‒ the principle of harmony of Turcic languages,

‒ the peculiarities of the Turkmen phonological system.

Another explanation should be thoroughly thought of. We may think that the reason of all the pronunciation mistakes was just bad teaching and poor educational methods. To be sure we questioned several teachers of English who work with different groups of Turkmen students. We found that the types of errors are the same in different groups of different teachers.

Some better results might be obtained if we were able to work with a bigger number of students, that’s why to be sure of our data we used three methods to obtain the material.

Our work may be important for other fields of study such as teaching, methodology, linguistics. This study will be continued later. It might be useful not only for researchers but also for Turkmen learning English and both Turkmen and Russian teachers of English.

  1. Conclusions

Phonological interference of the native language is one of the main problems preventing Turkmen students from speaking English without pronunciation errors. The research listed the main phonological errors made by Turkmen students and their causes. These results might be applied by teachers of English in Russia and Turkmenia.

Although the experiment was made on a small number of students, the results showed are consistent with the previous works on the Turkic languages.

The further investigation on the problem should be continued and it presupposes creating a system of exercises aimed for lessening phonetic errors.

References:

  1. Baker, A. Introducing English Pronunciation. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1982.
  2. Budnik E. A. Lingvodidactic aspects of learning phonetic interference. Moscow, 2009
  3. Cameron S. Perfecting Your English Pronunciation. McGraw-Hill, 2012
  4. Hancock, M. English Pronunciation in Use. Elementary. Cambridge University Press, 2003
  5. Hewings M. English Pronunciation in Use. Advanced. Cambridge University Press, 2007
  6. Kelly G. Pearson education limited. Malaysia, 2001.
  7. Kopyrina M. V., Shadjikov E. T. Contrastive analysis of phonological systems: English, French, and Turkmen languages. Shadrinsk, Vestnik SHGPI, 2015
  8. Vinogradov V. A. Linguistic and Teaching Language. Moscow, «Academia», 2003.
  9. Vorobieva V. V. Practical English Phonetics. Tomsk Polytechnic University, 2014
Основные термины (генерируются автоматически): SHGPI, ULSPU.


Ключевые слова

English, phonetics, interference, Turkmen

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