Native vs. Non-native ‘th‘ A short comparison By Finn Kristensen Sabrina Riedel Tim Rocktaeschel Marco Tiedemann
Hypothesis German English speakers substitute the sound /z/ for the sounds /θ/ and /ð/ because these sounds don’t exist in the German language, and are therefore difficult to reproduce.
Method • We used a native speaker of German and a native speaker of English who both read the same text • Didn‘t use same words; were looking only for sounds • Wav files were obtained from course cd • Compared the spoken sounds using Praat
The /th/: Tongue Placement If you put your tongue right behind your teeth, you will make a /d/ or /t/ sound instead of /ð/ or /θ/ sound. If it sounds like you are making an /z/ or /s/ sound, it is because your tongue touches your alveolar ridge.
Ze Tiger and ze Mous • Example of a German accent
Compared German/English Voiceless /th/ native unvoiced /th/ German unvoiced /th/
Compared German/English Voiced /ð/ German voiced /ð/ Native voiced / ð /
Children: Because of play instinct easiness about imitating foreign language. Caused by Psychological and Physical factors Adults mostly have an analytical approach Good Pronunciation: An Early Start Helps
Conclusion • We were unable to gather enough data to prove that all German English speakers with poor pronunciation substitute a /z/ for the voiced and voiceless th sounds, or that they do this because the sounds don‘t exist in the German language. Our example shows, however, that our hypothesis isn‘t entirely untrue.