Influence of L1 on L2 learners of Korean
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The current study examines the influence of the L1 phonetic environment on L2 learners of Korean. After a review of aspects of the English and Korean languages, focusing on the differences between the two languages’ vowels and consonants, the results of a perceptual experiment are presented. The subjects are native English speakers who are learning Korean as a second or a third language. An identification test for Korean back vowels [o] and [ʌ] was conducted, followed by an identification test of nine Korean stops. The results indicate that there are difficulties in perceiving Korean vowels depending on the learners’ L1 phonetic system, as well as various syllable structure effects. Furthermore, subjects showed difficulties in identifying stops depending on the consonants’ laryngeal settings. The possible influence of subjects’ gender and exposure to the L2 language/culture is also discussed.