Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

John M. Clifton


This paper reports on Hmong speakers' acquisition of English in children ages 9 and 12 on final voiced and voiceless consonants and consonant clusters, none of which occur in Hmong codas except /ŋ/. The learners' production patterns were considered using an Optimality Theory account to understand the conflict between the learner's first language constraints and the learner's target language constraints. The main findings of this study are that the Hmong language and the English language constraints interacted in an ordered fashion allowing predictable patterns in production. The final consonants and consonant clusters were often deleted or changed by the intermediate Hmong speakers of English, because they have not completely resolved the conflict of what they know in their native language with what they are learning in the English language. This experiment observes the stages of coda development in the production of the intermediate Hmong speakers of English as a second language.

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