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Auditory priming effects on the production of second language speech sounds

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Thesis type
(Thesis) M.A.
Date created
Research shows that speech perception and production are connected, however, the extent to which auditory speech stimuli can affect second language production has been less thoroughly explored. The current study presents Mandarin learners of English with an English vowel as an auditory prime (/i/, /ɪ/, /u/, /ʊ/) followed by an English target word containing either a tensity congruent (e.g. prime: /i/ - target: “peach”) or incongruent (e.g. prime: /i/ - target: “pitch”) vowel. Pronunciation of the target word vowel following the two congruency conditions was measured in terms of vowel duration and formant frequency, as well as intelligibility and rating by native English listeners. Results showed that pronunciation of the front vowel contrast (/i-ɪ/) displayed more English-like formant frequency distribution and an increase in intelligibility in the congruent prime condition, suggesting that auditory speech information can positively affect the pronunciation of difficult second language speech contrasts.
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Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Wang, Yue
Thesis advisor: Heift, Trude
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