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UNIVERSIDADE FEDERAL DE OURO PRETO INSTITUTO DE CINCIAS HUMANAS E SOCIAIS DEPARTAMENTO DE LETRAS TPICOS DE TRADUO PROF.

GICOMO PATROCINIO FIGUEREDO ALUNA: CAROLINA PERES

Introduction The purpose of this research is to analyze how Brazilian learners of English pronounce the regular past tense grammatical ending, which is spelled ed. The past tense rule in English states that if a verb ends with /t/ or /d/, the past tense is pronounced /d/; if a verb ends with a voiced sound, the past tense is pronounced /d/; and finally, if a verb ends with a voiceless sound, the past tense is pronounced /t/. Because of differences in pronunciation patterns between English and Portuguese, it is hard for Brazilian to deduce these pronunciation variations for the same spelling. Thus, another aim of this research is to find the most common errors in this case and to propose a classroom activity to improve learners past tense pronunciation. Methodology Data Collection: the collection of data to this research was taken from two informants. The informant 1 is a Brazilian student, 24 years old, female, and considers herself as an intermediate level English student. Informant 2, Brazilian, male, 28 years old, also considers himself in intermediate level. The same steps were taken for the two informants. A set of 30 words was organized in the following way: 10 words ending with voiceless sounds, 10 words ending with voiced sounds, 5 words ending with a /t/ sound and 5 words ending with a /d/ sound. First Part: the informants where asked to read aloud each word of the set. Second Part: the informants must pronounce the verbs inside a sentence.

Lastly, the researcher committed to paper and made a register with the mistakes they undertook. Results Informant 1 pronounced correctly 9 from 10 voiced ending words. Only one verb, borrowed, she has pronounced with /d/. She also pronounced correctly all the words which ends with a /t/ or a /d/ sound. Meanwhile, she mispronounced 8 from 10 unvoiced ending words, using the /t/ sound only in the words stopped and finished. Informant 2 followed the same pattern of mistakes and successes, pronouncing properly all the words which ends with /t/ or /d/ but pronouncing with an incorrectly /d/ sound most of the unvoiced endings. Since Portuguese speakers are familiarized with pronouncing the vowels between the consonants, because this is the pattern in Portuguese pronunciation, the researcher attributes to this the fact that theyve pronounced correctly all the words which includes the shwa sound, that is, those which ends whit /t/ or /d/. On the other hand, since Brazilians usually produce the sounds according to the letters in spelling, we can infer that this is the reason why they pronounced even the unvoiced ends with a improper /d/ sound it happened because, in portuguese spelling, these words ends with the letter d. According to Peter Avery and Susan Ehrlich, Teaching American English Pronunciation book authors, many of the mispronunciations of Portuguese speakers can be traced to the influence of the Portuguese spelling system rather than to an inability to produce particular sounds. As such, this is just a question of ignoring the foreign language patterns. In order to solve these pronunciation problems, the teacher must clarify those differences between each type of ending in the regular past tense pronunciation. After exposing the past tense rule and explaining the concepts of voiced and unvoiced sounds, the teacher can show, through voice records or songs, a preorganized set of regular verbs in the past tense, including the three types of endings to be known in the rule. This same set of verbs must be distributed to the students, written in paper, so the activity consists in complete the words with the sound they just heard on the record. The aim of this activity is to familiarize Brazilians students with these specific sounds, demonstrating the correct pronunciation but, mainly, helping these students to internalize the concepts, since the grammatical ending, for natives, are

completely predictable they are not always aware of the rules which states this phenomenon, which is result of the phonetic context in which these variations occur.

Bibliography References: Peter Avery and Susan Ehrlich. Teaching American English Pronunciation. Oxford University Press;1992.