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The phonological and phonetic development of new vowel contrasts in Spanish learners of English

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Abstract

This paper reports the findings of an experimental study that investigated the perception of Standard Scottish English (SSE) /i/-/I/ by Spanish speakers. Many of the learners of this study adequately identified and discriminated the new contrast, but did so by using vowel duration, an auditory dimension that serves as a secondary cue in native SSE vowel perception. In addition, the individual L2 results patterned in a way that suggested a stage-like development in the phonological and phonetic acquisition of the new contrast. These results demonstrate that L2 learners can learn to perceive new L2 vowels phonologically in a native-like fashion and that, in same cases, they can also learn to adjust to the fine phonetic differences of such new vowels.

References

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