The Ontogeny and Phylogeny of Second Language Phonology
By Roy C. Major
Routledge – 2013 – 224 pages
Even though second-language learners may master the grammar and vocabulary of the new languages, they almost never achieve a native phonology (accent). Scholars and professionals dealing with second-language learners would agree that this is one of the most persistent challenges they face.
Now, for the first time, Roy Major's Foreign Accent covers the exploding scholarship in this area and lays out the issues specifically for audiences in the second language acquisition and applied linguistics community.
"A major strength of Major's work is his delineation of the parameters of the OPM….Major is to be congratulated on producing a work that can be read profitably by specialists and nonspecialists alike….this book provides a readable overview of L2 phonological research and theory….[Readers] who are looking for an overview of a complex area of L2 acquisition, along with an explanatory mechanism and theory of the same, will need look no further."
—The Modern Language Journal
"It is much to Major's credit that he has developed a truly comprehensive model of the basic structural sources that shape IL in its development. In doing so, he not only synthesizes much previous work (including his own) on variability, transfer, developmental processes, universals, markedness and similarity as determining factors in SLA but, more significantly, he produces out of this a deceptively simple and workable typology of far-reaching relevance for a whole series of linguistic phenomena….the OPM should function as an important orientation marker for future research in SLA and should…enlighten second language professionals as to the basically simple structural factors involved in IL development."
—Second Language Research
Contents: Preface. Preliminaries to Research in Second Language Phonology. Linguistic Explanations for Second Language Phonological Systems. Variation. The Ontogeny Phylogeny Model of Language Acquisition and Change. The Ontogeny Phylogeny Model in Language Contact and Change. Conclusion.
Roy C. Major is Professor of English at Arizona State University.