German vowel L2-production and L1-categorization of L2 students at an American university
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This thesis examines how L2 German students produce vowels and consequently integrate them in their L1 categories. For this study, interviews were conducted, in which 21 L1 AE students and one L1 Cantonese speaker completed an elicitation task in which they read 35 sentences, which were then analyzed. Results indicate that, contrary to previous studies, similar vowels are pronounced more target-like than new vowels, even for beginner speakers. The OPM by Major (2001) is able to account for the results, through the similar and marked phenomena of OPM. Furthermore, this thesis will serve as a missing link to directly support the OPM, as it includes interviews with speakers of various levels, which previous have yet to do. This allows for a simulated longitudinal study through study of L2 learners in apparent time.