DURATION AND CONTEXT EFFECTS ON THE PERCEPTION OF ENGLISH /r/ AND /I/: A COMPARISON OF CANTONESE AND JAPANESE SPEAKERS

Elizabeth Henly, Amy Sheldon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examines the role that duration plays in the perception of a new phonemic contrast, namely English /r/‐/I/, by Cantonese speakers. Previous research with Japanese speakers by Dissosway‐Huff, Port and Pisoni (1982) suggested that greater accuracy of perception of this new contrast correlates with greater duration of the acoustic signal. The results of our study show that increased duration of the acoustic signal is not sufficient to facilitate perception of English liquids by Cantonese speakers. Thus, our results provide no support for the Duration Hypothesis. We also show that differences in the perception of /r/ and /I/ by Japanese and Cantonese speakers can be explained in part by differences in their native language phonological constraints. Finally, we discuss possible causes for the perceptual difficulty that both types of speakers have with consonant clusters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)505-522
Number of pages18
JournalLanguage Learning
Volume36
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1986

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