Document Type

Article

Publication Date

5-2010

Abstract

In this study of second language (L2) experience on L2 phonetic production, two groups of three American learners of French with different amounts of experience produced sentences in English and French. The sentences recited contained word-initial /p/, /t/, and /k/ as well as vowels /e/ and /o/ and were analyzed for voice-onset time (VOT) of the unvoiced stops and diphthongization of the vowels. VOT results showed that experience had an effect on ability to differentiate English and French, as the higher-experience group produced significantly different English and French values while the lower-experience group did not. The interaction between language and experience was found to be significant. Diphthongization values for /e/ were not statistically significant for the interaction but showed a similar trend. No conclusions were drawn for the vowel /o/ due to a number of participants producing the vowel in unexpected ways. The data showed that increased experience with French resulted in a measurable effect on two aspects of French pronunciation, in line with the predictions of Flege’s Speech Learning Model (1995).

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