Zeyu Li

Bild Zeyu Li

Akademischer Werdegang
Seit 05/2017 Doktorandin mit dem Forschungsschwerpunkt englische Sprachwissenschaft, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Deutschland
10/2014-09/2016 MA im Fach English-Speaking Cultures, Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg, Deutschland
06/2016-09/2016 Intensivkurs Human Rights, Universität Stanford, USA
09/2013-07/2014 Deutsch-Intensivkurs, F+U Academy of Languages, Heidelberg
08/2011-12/2012 Master im Fach Sozialwissenschaften Fachrichtung Unternehmenskommunikation, Chinesische Universität Hongkong, Hongkong
09/2007-07/2011 BA im Fach Englisch Fachrichtung Dolmetschen und Übersetzen, Universität Nankai, China
Universitäre/Berufliche Tätigkeiten
Seit 05/2017 Wissenschaftliche Hilfskraft am Lehrstuhl für Englische Sprachwissenschaft, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Deutschland
05/2016-02/2017 Wissenschaftliche Hilfskraft am Lehrstuhl für Englische Sprachwissenschaft, Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg, Deutschland

Dissertationsprojekt

Acquisition of Rhoticity by Second Language (L2) Learners of English

The realization of postvocalic /r/ has been frequently examined in both diachronic and synchronic research on world Englishes. Since it arguably constitutes the most important phonotactic difference among accents of English and a multitude of linguistic and extra-linguistic constraints is known to modulate the degree of rhoticity, the /r/ variant forms an instructive phonological marker to investigate the dynamics of norm formation in emerging English varieties. While varieties in the Inner and Outer Circle have been extensively studied in this respect, there is fairly little research on the acquisition of rhoticity by L2 English learners in the Expanding Circle.
This project attempts to fill this gap with a series of perception and production tasks on rhoticity by L2 English learners from China. Based on data collected from 48 Chinese first-year undergraduates majoring in English at two data collection times with a time span of six months, it explores the relationship between perception and production of postvocalic /r/ by Chinese learners and how this changes over time. In particular, it aims at making theoretical contribution to L2 speech models such as Flege’s Speech Learning Model (SLM) or Best's Perceptual Assimilation Model (PAM). Moreover, it will analyze the potential social and linguistic factors contributing to the variable realization and acquisition of rhoticity by using mixed effects regression model. Apart from auditory analysis, the acoustic properties of postvocalic /r/ by Chinese learners will also be investigated and compared with native English speakers in this study.