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

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003

Input and Experience in the Perception of an L2 Temporal and Spectral Contrast

Juli Cebrian

Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain

An important issue in vowel acquisition is the use and relative weighting of acoustic cues, in particular with respect to spectral and temporal properties. This paper evaluates the effect of experience and L2 input on the perception of the English lax/tense vowel contrast by speakers of Catalan, a language with no such contrast. Two groups of adult learners were tested which differed in the kind and the amount of L2 experience. The results show that both groups show a stronger reliance on vowel duration than on vowel quality for the distinction between English /i/ and /ɪ/. This indicates that neither amount of exposure nor the kind of L2 input have an effect on the sensitivity to spectral/temporal differences.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Cebrian, Juli (2003): "Input and experience in the perception of an L2 temporal and spectral contrast", In ICPhS-15, 2297-2300.