Phonology in Protolanguage and Interlanguage - Elena Babatsouli

Phonology in Protolanguage and Interlanguage - Elena Babatsouli

8. Identification and Discrimination of Initial Voiceless Stops by Catalan and Portuguese Learners of English: The Role of Formal Instruction and L2 Exposure

Phonology in Protolanguage and Interlanguage - Elena Babatsouli

Angelica Carlet [+-]
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Angelica Carlet holds a Master’s Degree in second language acquisition from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) and a BA in English and Brazilian Portuguese studies from UNISINOS, Brazil. The influence of one’s native language phonology in the acquisition of a second language constitutes the main area of her interest along with the effect of phonetic training for non-native speakers of English. She is a PhD candidate at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and she is currently lecturing at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) and at the Universitat Internacional de Catalunya (UIC), in Barcelona, Spain.
Anabela Rato [+-]
University of Toronto
Anabela Rato graduated in Portuguese and English Teaching (2004) at the University of Minho. She also holds an MA in English Language, Literature and Culture (2009) and a PhD in Language Sciences (2014) from the University of Minho, Portugal. She has served as an invited assistant professor, and a researcher in the Centre for Humanistic Studies, University of Minho, Portugal. From July 2016 onwards, she is an assistant professor at the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, University of Toronto, Canada. Her research interests include non-native speech perception and production, second language acquisition, foreign language learning, and applied phonetics.

Description

Due to the interplay of several factors, including L1 attunement and L2 experience (understood as length of formal instruction), native speakers of Romance languages who learn English as a second language (L2) encounter certain difficulty when perceiving English voiceless stops (Alves & Zimmer 2015; Flege, Munro & MacKay 1995; Fullana & MacKay 2008). The purpose of this study was to further investigate the role of formal instruction and to evaluate the effect of language exposure (i.e. amount of outside classroom L2 input) on the non-native perception of the English voiceless stops /p, t, k/ by Portuguese and Catalan learners of English. A total of 63 learners of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) were divided into three experimental groups (an advanced group, differing in their L1, and two upper-intermediate groups) and were asked to identify and discriminate naturally produced tokens contrasting word-initial voiceless aspirated and unaspirated stops. Results show that the advanced group of Portuguese EFL learners outperformed the upper-intermediate Portuguese learners when discriminating and identifying the target stops. This finding seems to indicate that length of formal instruction has a positive effect on the perception of non-native allophonic contrasts. Furthermore, the comparison between the performance of the two upper-intermediate groups revealed that despite the comparable VOT patterns in both languages, the upper-intermediate Portuguese perceivers outperformed the Catalans, which may be accounted by the effect of a greater outside classroom L2 exposure. These outcomes suggest that L2 formal instruction and L2 exposure play an important role on the perception of a non-native allophonic contrast.

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Citation

Carlet , Angelica ; Rato, Anabela. 8. Identification and Discrimination of Initial Voiceless Stops by Catalan and Portuguese Learners of English: The Role of Formal Instruction and L2 Exposure. Phonology in Protolanguage and Interlanguage. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 231-254 Jan 2018. ISBN 9781781795644. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=31678. Date accessed: 17 Dec 2018 doi: 10.1558/equinox.31678. Jan 2018

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