15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-15)

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003

Perception and Production of Spanish Vowels by English Speakers

Geoffrey Stewart Morrison

University of Ottawa, Canada

Native Spanish speakers and Canadian English learners of Spanish produced the five Spanish vowels in utterance final /sV/ syllables. The syllables were presented in random order to Spanish and English listeners for identification of vowels in terms of Spanish vowel categories. The English listeners also identified the vowels in terms of English vowel categories. Initial analysis of perceptual results was consistent with English listeners identifying Spanish vowels via assimilation to English vowels, and in the case of Spanish /a/ and /u/ via multiple-category assimilation to more than one English vowel. Spanish listeners correctly identified English speakers' vowels at higher rates than Spanish speakers' vowels. This is consistent with English speakers basing their Spanish vowel productions on English vowels, resulting in less intra-vowel variation. Spanish listeners' results were also consistent with part of the vowel space being uncommitted to any Spanish vowel.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Morrison, Geoffrey Stewart (2003): "Perception and production of Spanish vowels by English speakers", In ICPhS-15, 1533-1536.