Foreign Accent: The Ontogeny and Phylogeny of Second Language Phonology, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Foreign Accent

The Ontogeny and Phylogeny of Second Language Phonology, 1st Edition

By Roy C. Major


224 pages

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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

Table of Contents

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.

About the Author

Roy C. Major is Professor of English at Arizona State University.

About the Series

Second Language Acquisition Research Series

The Second Language Acquisition Research series presents and explores issues bearing directly on theory construction and/or research methods in the study of second language acquisition. Its titles (both authored and edited volumes) provide thorough and timely overviews of high-interest topics, and include key discussions of existing research findings and their implications. A special emphasis of the series is reflected in the monographs dealing with specific data collection methods or instruments.  Each of these monographs addresses the kinds of research questions for which the method/instrument is best suited, offers extended description of its use, and outlines the problems associated with its use. The volumes in this series will be invaluable to students and scholars alike, and perfect for use in courses on research methodology and in individual research.


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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Bilingual Education
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General