Acquisition of the internal and external constraints of variable schwa deletion by French Immersion students
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This article is one among a series of studies on the acquisition of patterns of linguistic variation observable in the speech of native speakers of Canadian French by French immersion (FI) students. The present study is centered on deletion of the central vowel schwa, a widespread feature of casual spoken French. In this study, FI students are compared with same age native speakers of Ontario French. Our study has arrived at the following main findings: (I) Fl students delete schwa much less frequently than do the speakers of Ontario French; (II) FI students observe the same phonetic constraints that influence schwa deletion in native Ontario French; (III) FI students do not observe the constraint of topic formality which is observable in native Ontario French; and (IV) FI students who have had extracurricular contacts with native speakers of French display higher rates of schwa deletion than the FI students who have not had such contacts.
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