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K-State Today

April 6, 2017



Mary Copple to present spring Modern Languages' Signatures Lecture

By Derek Hillard

Mary Copple, associate professor of Spanish, will give the spring Modern Languages' Signatures Lecture at 4 p.m. Friday, April 7, in 127 Leadership Studies Building.

Copple will present "Constructing Two Phonological Systems: Factors That Influence (foreign) Accent."

Lecture abstract: Second language speakers may develop a "native-like" accent or may struggle to leave a "foreign" accent behind. In order to examine factors that contribute to this success — or the lack thereof — we examine the pronunciation of word-initial /p,t,k/ in English and Spanish. These sounds were selected as it is well-established that English has a longer duration than Spanish. Participants were K-State students who belonged to three groups: early sequential bilinguals — i.e., Heritage speakers — who began English schooling around age 5; late sequential second language English bilinguals from Ecuador; and late sequential second language Spanish bilinguals from Kansas and/or Kansas City.

Copple will discuss how successfully each group has transitioned to their second language pronunciation of /p,t,k/ and what factors, both linguistic and cognitive, may have affected their level of success.

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