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

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003

Desensitization in Norwegian Vowel Perception by Native and American English Listeners

Dawn M. Behne, Anne Nylund

Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway

Some differences in speech perception by native and non-native listeners can be accounted for as transference from a native language. Others appear to result from universal preferences, such as duration. In the case of L2 vowel perception, duration may be used to categorize vowels when, from a non-native listener's perspective, inadequate spectral cues are available. The perception of Norwegian vowel quantity by American English listeners is a testing ground for the transference and desensitization hypotheses. Results are presented for native Norwegian and American English listeners' responses to an identification task in which vowel duration and spectra of Norwegian vowels are adjusted. Findings support the desensitization hypothesis and suggest that vowel duration may override an influence of native language transference.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Behne, Dawn M. / Nylund, Anne (2003): "Desensitization in Norwegian vowel perception by native and American English listeners", In ICPhS-15, 1557-1560.