Featural generalization in second language identification Performance: Comparing learners with different L1s

The current study examined identification responses by Taiwan Mandarin L1 speakers learning English. Stimuli were monosyllabic and disyllabic native English productions of voiced and voiceless, labial and coronal, plosives and non-sibilant fricatives. Analyses correlated individual identification performance for laryngeal (hereafter, “voicing”) contrasts and manner contrasts, obtained from different halves of the overall corpus. Manner accuracy correlations were strong, particularly between voiced and voiceless segments. Manner accuracy also correlated across consonants appearing in different prosodic locations, word-initial, word-final, and intervocalic post-stress and pre-stress positions. Voicing accuracy also correlated across prosodic positions, though not between word-final position and the other positions. These results were interpreted with respect to a previously published corpus of Korean learners. The two corpora showed different patterns of correlation across prosodic positions for voicing, apparently due to the effects of different, prosodically-conditioned voicing allophony in the L1s. Finally, overall segmental and d-prime estimates were compared across the two language groups, revealing very strong similarities in the segmental accuracies for the two L1 groups. Analyses, however, also showed a persistent advantage for Mandarin listeners for manner contrasts. It was proposed that the difficulty of individual segments in specific prosodic locations, combined with the overall characteristics of the L1 phonological system, better account for learners’ identification accuracies than does the correspondence of specific L1 and L2 segments.

Publication Date:
Jan 01 2018
Date Submitted:
Jul 10 2019
15 - 27
Journal of Phonetics

Note: The file is under embargo until: 2020-12-31

 Record created 2019-07-10, last modified 2019-07-12

Download fulltext

Rate this document:

Rate this document:
(Not yet reviewed)