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

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003

Learning Cardinal Vowels

Patricia D. S. Ashby

University of Westminster, UK

Teaching and learning processes in general phonetic ear-training are often taken for granted and teaching is frequently modelled on techniques established a century ago by phoneticians like Jones, Passy and Vietor. A recent study of student-responses to Cardinal Vowels, motivated by a wish to facilitate and enhance learning through development of more useful training techniques, revealed interesting and hitherto unknown facts about the perception of Cardinal Vowels from the learner's viewpoint which could impact on materials design for training and assessment purposes. For example, some vowels are more readily perceived/learned than others and one vowel in each adjacent vowels pair seems to be dominant and attract more responses than the other (reminiscent of the perceptual magnet effect described by Kuhl and others in speech perception). Materials produced especially for training purposes need to take these factors into account.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Ashby, Patricia D. S. (2003): "Learning cardinal vowels", In ICPhS-15, 3089-3092.