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L1 & L2 Production and Perception of English and Spanish Vowels: A Statistical Modelling Approach

By Geoffrey Stewart Morrison Ii and Geoffrey Stewart Morrison


The present study explores L1-Spanish speakers ’ learning of the English /i/–/� / contrast via acoustic analysis of vowel productions and perception of synthetic stimuli. L1-English, L1-Spanish, and L2-Spanish perception and production are also explored. The vowels examined are English /i/, /�/, adjacent English /e/, /�/, and Spanish /i/, /ei/, /e/. The acoustic properties examined are vowel duration, and initial and final first- and second-formant values. Diphthongisation / vowel inherent spectral change (VISC) is an important factor in the perception of /� / in the Canadian English dialect examined. Consistent with current theories that L1 and L2 learners build speech sound categories on the basis of the statistical distribution of acoustic properties, discriminant analysis and logistic regression are used to build models of production and perception data. Models trained on monolingual Spanish data predict that Spanish listeners just beginning to learn English will perceive most instances of English /i / as Spanish /i/, and most instances of English /� / as Spanish /e/; hence English /i/ and /� / will be easily distinguished. However, cross-sectional and longitudinal data from L1-Spanish learners of English suggest that they confuse English /i / and /�/, and begin t

Topics: El Quijote, Tercera parte, Capítulo XX.iii
Year: 2011
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