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date: 13 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This study uses data from Indian English as a second language, spoken by speakers of five first languages, to illustrate and evaluate the role of the emergence of the unmarked (TETU) in phonological theory. The analysis focusses on word-final consonant devoicing and cluster reduction, for which the five Indian first languages have various constraints, while Indian English is relatively unrestricted. Variation in L2 Indian Englishes results from both transfer of L1 phonotactics and the emergence of the unmarked, accounted for within Optimality Theory. The use of a learning algorithm also allows us to test the relative importance of markedness and frequency and to evaluate the relative markedness of various clusters. Thus, data from Indian Englishes provides insight into the form and function of markedness constraints, as well as the mechanisms of Second Language Acquisition (SLA).

Keywords: Indian English, markedness, TETU, devoicing, cluster reduction, SLA

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