Maria Bonner

Dr.phil.

  • Alsion 2

    6400 Sønderborg

    Denmark

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Personal profile

Research areas

In school, university and later in my life I have learned or studied a number of languages (mostly but not exclusively Germanic, Romance, or Slavic). It never ceases to amaze me how alike or different languages are in terms of structure and their preferences in usage (contrastive rhetoric). As a consequence I often find inspiration for research interests in contrastive observations. This might concern differences between German and the Nordic languages, differences between standard and regional varieties of German, or differences between present and earlier varieties in usage (historical pragmatics).

Another topic that has not lost its fascination since I took my first class in articulatory phonetics is how people learn pronunciation. The longer I have been teaching German and Danish phonetics the more I realize that traditional pronunciation teaching more or less ignores the fact that pronunciation is not just some part of the language system but that it is a motor skill. Therefore cognitive input about the linguistic system has to be supplied with the physical training of the articulatory organs' coordination once we are beyond the stage of uninhibited imitation. I try to investigate how methods that train awareness of habitual movement patterns (Feldenkrais) can help to change the habitual pronunciation patterns aka foreign accent. 

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