Volume 11, Issue 3
  • ISSN 1571-0718
  • E-ISSN: 1571-0726
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Most studies to date on the ability of English speakers to produce the Spanish approximants [β̞,ð̞,ɣ̞] have impressionistically looked at the stop-spirant contrast of English-speaking learners of Spanish (e.g. Zampini 1994, Díaz-Campos 2004, Face & Menke 2009), but no known study has empirically studied the degree to which these learners are able to spirantize when compared to native speakers. The current study looks at two groups of learners: one group composed of learners who had studied four semesters of university Spanish and another group composed of learners who spent 2 years abroad in a Spanish-speaking country. Intervocalic tokens of [β̞,ð̞,ɣ̞] were taken and were measured for degree of oral occlusion using the intensity curve in PRAAT. Additionally, a multiple regression analysis was run to determine the relationship that oral occlusion had with speech task type formality, motivational intensity, level of instruction/time abroad, phoneme type, and phoneme word position.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): gradient variables; SLA; spirantization
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