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

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003

Temporal and Semantic Factors in Perception of the Voicing Contrast: Different Processing Strategies in L1 and L2

Eivind Nessa Torgersen

University of Reading, UK

This presentation reports on a study of the effects of sentence context and local acoustic structure on online speech processing. Subjects were beginner learners of L2 and an L1 speaker control group. Results show that the L2 data differed from the L1 control group in being strongly influenced by sentential context in their categorisations and response time patterns. The findings give some evidence for a different processing strategy in L1 and L2. In L2, higher- level linguistic information immediately influences phonemic categorisation, whilst this did not occur in L1. Initial speech processing in L1 was largely independent from semantics. This suggests that fluency in L2 has an effect on processing strategies.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Torgersen, Eivind Nessa (2003): "Temporal and semantic factors in perception of the voicing contrast: different processing strategies in L1 and L2", In ICPhS-15, 2897-2900.