S-Space Language Education Institute (언어교육원) Language Research (어학연구) Language Research (어학연구) Volume 34 Number 1/4 (1998)
Sonority-Driven Vowel Epenthesis in L2 Acquisition
- Lee, Ponghyung
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 언어교육원
- 어학연구, Vol.34 No., pp. 737-765
- This paper addresses the vowel epenthesis attested by Korean- speakers of English. I demonstrate that a set of Optimality Theoretic constraints are responsible for the phenomenon. In particular the interaction between faithfulness constraints and sonority-based markedness constraints determines whether the process takes place or not. This explanation is successful to predict surface variations and transitory movement from the earlier to the later stage of language acquisition. The result of this analysis is that vowel epenthesis is motivated to satisfy the universal markedness constraints in favor of onset. This sonority-based explanation clarifies the graded preference to be onset among consonants; obstruents are compelled to occupy onset, to the exclusion of sonorants. The primary strength of this approach surfaces in over- coming the problems arising from principles-and-parameters approach. The idea of all-or-nothing of the approach is ill-suited to entertain the variations and movement of language acquisition from one stage to the next.