(Mis) perception of consonant clusters and short vowels in English as a foreign language

Leung, Alex, Young-Scholten, Martha, Almurashi, Wael, Ghadanfari, Saleh, Nash, Chloe and Outhwaite, Olivia (2023) (Mis) perception of consonant clusters and short vowels in English as a foreign language. International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching, 61 (3). pp. 731-764. ISSN 0019-042X

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1515/iral-2021-0030


Research addressing second language (L2) speech is expanding. Studies increasingly demonstrate that a learner’s first language (L1) filters the L2 input, resulting in learners misperceiving what they have heard. This L1 filter can result in learners perceiving sounds not actually present in the input. We report on a study which explored English consonant clusters and short, unstressed vowel perception of 70 Arabic-, Mandarin-, Spanish-speaking foreign language learners and 19 native English speakers. These are the vowels which speakers from two of the L1s typically insert in their production of English to break up L1-disallowed consonant clusters and the schwa which is documented to cause both perception and production problems. Results show that participants misperceive stimuli containing consonant clusters and counterparts where clusters are broken up by epenthetic/prothetic elements. In line with Sakai, Mari & Colleen Moorman 2018. We call for the inclusion of such findings on perception in pedagogical advice on pronunciation.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: consonant clusters, illusory vowels and epenthesis, perceptual illusion, second language perception, short vowels and schwa
Subjects: Q100 Linguistics
Q300 English studies
Q900 Others in Linguistics, Classics and related subjects
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Humanities
Depositing User: Rachel Branson
Date Deposited: 16 Aug 2021 14:57
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2023 12:15
URI: https://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/46921

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