Perception of final fricative voicing: Native and nonnative listeners' use of vowel duration
SourceThe Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 127, 3, (2010), pp. 1636-1644
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ DCC CO
The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
SubjectDI-BCB_DCC_Theme 1: Language and Communication; Psycholinguistics
Does experience with a perceptual cue for a phoneme contrast in the native language affect its use in a second language for a similar contrast in a different phonetic context? Two experiments investigated Dutch and English listeners' use of preceding vowel duration as a perceptual cue for nonword-final fricative voicing in English. Dutch listeners have native language experience with the use of vowel duration for vowel length and intervocalic obstruent voicing contrasts, but not for final voicing contrasts, as Dutch does not have voiced obstruents word-finally. Previous research [Broersma, M. (2005). J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 117, 3890-3901; (2008) 124, 712-715] showed that Dutch listeners used vowel duration less for final /v-f/ categorization than English listeners did when vowel duration varied only between subjects, discouraging its use as a perceptual cue. The present study assessed the use of vowel duration for final /v-f/ and /z-s/ contrasts when it varied within subjects. A goodness rating and a phonetic categorization experiment showed that Dutch listeners used vowel duration, but less than English listeners did. Thus, experience with a perceptual cue for a different contrast and for a similar contrast in a different position in the native language did not lead to native-like use of this cue in the second language.
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