A Contrastive Analysis of Spanish and Fang: an L2 approach to Equatorial Guinean Spanish as Spoken in Bata City
Previous studies on Equatorial Guinean Spanish (EGS) have described this dialect as being heavily influenced by the L1. For example, Granda (1985), Lipski (1985), and Quilis & Casado-Fresnillo (1995) maintain that failure to spirantize voiced stops may be a reflection of the L1 grammar which does not employ the spirantization rule. Other phenomena such as alveolar place of articulation of dental /t̪/ and /d̪/ and the simplification of /Cɾ/ onset clusters have also been attributed to negative transfer of the L1 structure. Although the L1 clearly influences EGS, not all phenomena such as syllable repair, segment deletion and debuccalization can be attributed to L1 transfer, but also to markedness and developmental factors. For example, learners of an L2 may employ strategies in the interlanguage to simplify complex syllable clusters (e.g. Hancin-Bhatt et al. 1997; Broselow et al. 1998). They may also employ a word integrity effect (Cebrian, 2000) where words may be produced as entire units avoiding L2 word binding phenomena such as resyllabification.A framework for determining the influence of the L1 on the L2 is the Contrastive Analysis Hypothesis (Fries, 1945; Lado, 1957: CAH) which involves an item by item comparison of L1 structures and rules to those in the L2. More contemporary versions of the CAH go beyond the segment by segment analysis and incorporate the concept of markedness (e.g. Greenberg, 1966, 1976; Jakobson, 1941; Trubetzkoy, 1939) in order to account for phenomena in L2 production that are not as clearly traceable to the L1. For example, Eckman (1991) claims that universally marked items in the L2, even if they exist in the L1, will be the most difficult for learners to acquire.To date, Equatorial Guinean Spanish has not been submitted to formal CAH analysis so the exact influence that the L1 has in the L2 is unclear. The present study performs a CAH analysis between certain target items in Fang and Spanish to clarify which phenomena in the L2 are attributable to the L1 and which can be described as the result of developmental factors. The results reveal that both transfer and developmental factors play a significant role in the production of EGS as spoken in Bata City.
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