Vigo International Journal of Applied Linguistics VIAL

Lucrecia Rallo Fabra (1): Predicting ease of acquisition of L2 speech sounds. A perceived dissimilarity test. VIAL. Number 2/2005: 75-92.


Two current models of L2 speech learning, the Speech Learning Model (Flege, 1995) and the Perceptual Assimilation Model (Best, 1994) hypothesize that ease of acquisition of nonnative speech sounds can be predicted from these similarities between the native and the target sounds. In the present study, we use a mapping task to test a group of experienced Catalan learners of English and a group of native speakers of Catalan with no experience in English, on their ability to identify English vowel categories in terms of their native Catalan vowel categories. Specifically, we intended to test the hypothesis that, as had been suggested by Flege (1991), experience with the target language could influence assimilation patterns of nonnative sounds to native sounds.

(1) Dept. Filologia Espanyola, Moderna I Llatina. Universitat de les Illes Balears. Spain.

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