The influence of second language vowels on foreign language vowel perception

Anna Balas


This paper examines the limits of feature abstraction and the influence of second language vowels on foreign vowel perception (cf. Pajak and Levy 2014). Perception of Dutch vowels by Polish students of English and French and Dutch was assessed using categorization tasks with goodness ratings. Dutch front rounded vowels were identified predominantly as front vowels by learners of French and Dutch and as back vowels by learners of English.The results suggest that the hypothesis about selective attention to features should incorporate markedness and that experience with second language front rounded vowels is enough to trigger disentangling rounding from backness.


foreign vowel perception, selective attention to features, front rounded vowels

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