Refereed article in conference proceedings (A4)

Speech sound perception in monolinguals, bilinguals and learners - Language background affects identification and discrimination differently

List of AuthorsTamminen Henna, Peltola Maija S

Conference nameInternational Congress of Phonetic Sciences

PublisherAustralasian Speech Science and Technology Association Inc.


Publication year2019

JournalProceedings of the ofInternational Congress of Phonetic Sciences

Book title *Proceedings of the 19th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, Melbourne, Australia 2019

Start page2258

End page2262



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The categorical nature of speech perception may
result in learning difficulties when L2 speech sounds
overlap with L1 sound areas. In addition to possible
learning difficulties, it may create interesting
overlapping phoneme category areas between the
bilinguals’ two native languages. Here, we tested how
language learners, simultaneous bilinguals and
monolinguals perceive the same rounded closed /y/-
/ʉ/-/u/ vowel area. In learners and bilinguals this area
is divided either into two or three categories in their
two languages (Finnish and Swedish, respectively),
whereas only the three category division is in use in
the monolinguals (Swedish). It seems that second
language learners’ learning process is still ongoing
since their /ʉ/–/u/ boundary was less sharp in vowel
identification than the other two groups’. On the other
hand, both learners and bilinguals seem to benefit
from being language oriented and from using two
languages in their daily lives as they were more
sensitive discriminators than the monolinguals. 

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Last updated on 2022-07-04 at 17:27