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Title: English vowel perception by Polish advanced learners of English
Authors: Balas, Anna
Keywords: vowel perception
foreign language speech perception
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Citation: Canadian Journal of Linguistics vol. 63 (3), 2018, 309-338.
Abstract: This article examines English vowel perception by advanced Polish learners of English in a formal classroom setting (i.e., they learnt English as a foreign language in school while living in Poland). The stimuli included 11 English noncewords in bilabial (/bVb/), alveolar (/dVd/) and velar (/gVg/) contexts. The participants, 35 first-year English majors, were examined during the performance of three tasks with English vowels: a categorial discrimination oddity task, an L1 assimilation task (categorization and goodness rating) and a task involving rating the (dis-)similarities between pairs of English vowels. The results showed a variety of assimilation types according to the Perceptual Assimilation Model (PAM) and the expected performance in a discrimination task. The more difficult it was to discriminate between two given vowels, the more similar these vowels were judged to be. Vowel contrasts involving height distinctions were easier to discriminate than vowel contrasts with tongue advancement distinctions. The results also revealed that the place of articulation of neighboring consonants had little effect on the perceptibility of the tested English vowels, unlike in the case of lower-proficiency learners. Unlike previous results for naïve listeners, the present results for advanced learners showed no adherence to the principles of the Natural Referent Vowel framework. Generally, the perception of English vowels by these Polish advanced learners of English conformed with PAM's predictions, but differed from vowel perception by naïve listeners and lower-proficiency learners.
Sponsorship: The project was financed by grant no. UMO-2015/17/B/HS2/01246 “Perceptual reorganization of speech: the interplay of categories and features” from the National Science Centre, Poland. Projekt finansowany ze środków z grantu nr UMO-2015/17/B/HS2/01246 pt. "Przekształcenia percepcji mowy: oddziaływanie kategorii i cech" przyznanego przez Narodowe Centrum Nauki.
Appears in Collections:Artykuły naukowe (WA)

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