Learners’ L1 background can be one of the many factors affecting the acquisition of L2 phonology. This thesis examines native Armenian, Japanese, and English speakers’ weighting of acoustic cues, specifically vowel spectrum and duration, in production and perception of English high front tense-lax vowel contrasts. For the production experiment, participants ( N = 28) were recorded producing three repetitions of 12 monosyllabic minimal pairs of [i] and [I] vowels in a carrier sentence which were acoustically measured for vowel length, and spectrum: vowel height (F1 – F0) and vowel frontness (F2 – F1). For perception experiment, two equal 7-step continua were created [beat-bit] by linear interpolation of vowel duration and spectrum. The data were examined through a series of ANOVAs and paired sample t-tests. Consistent with previous findings, spectral properties were given more weight by native speakers, while nonnative speakers were found to weigh duration more heavily than spectrum, suggesting L1 influence on L2 cue weighting strategies.
|Commitee:||Abbuhl, Rebekha, Fender, Michael|
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 55/03M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Acoustic cue weighting, English high front vowels, L2 phonology, Perception of L2 vowels, Production of L2 vowels, Second language speakers|
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