Thu-2-3-1 Phonetic Accommodation of L2 German Speakers to the Virtual Language Learning Tutor Mirabella

Iona Gessinger(Saarland University), Bernd Möbius(Saarland University), Bistra Andreeva(Saarland University), Eran Raveh(Saarland University) and Ingmar Steiner(audEERING GmbH)
Abstract: The present paper compares phonetic accommodation of L1 French speakers in interaction with the simulated virtual language learning tutor for German, Mirabella, to that of L1 German speakers from a previous study. In a question-and-answer exchange, the L1 French speakers adapted the intonation contours of wh-questions as falling or rising according to the variant produced by Mirabella. However, they were not sensitive to a change of the nuclear pitch accent placement. In a map task, the L1 French speakers increased the number of dispreferred variants for the allophonic contrast [ɪç] vs.[ɪk] in the word ending <-ig> when Mirabella used this variant. For the contrast [ɛː] vs. [eː] as a realization of stressed <-ä->, such a convergence effect was not found. Overall, the non-native speakers showed a similar degree of accommodative behavior towards Mirabella as the L1 German speakers. This suggests that incidental inductive learning through accommodation is possible. However, phenomena of the target language that deviate too radically from the native pattern seem to require more explicit training.
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