International Journal of Language & Linguistics

ISSN 2374-8850 (Print), 2374-8869 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/ijll

Revisiting the Effect of Speech Style on L2 Acquisition of Spanish Voiceless Stops
Christina A. Mirisis

This study investigates the effect of speech style on second language (L2) Spanish learners’ acquisition of voiceless stop /p t k/ consonants. Nine L1 English-speaking L2 Spanish learners enrolled in a third-year composition and conversation course for Spanish majors and minors at a university in the United States participated in the present study. Participants first completed a formal reading task followed by a more informal conversational task. Tokens of target sounds on both tasks appeared in absolute initial (i.e., following a pause), word-initial intervocalic, and word-internal intervocalic positions to examine whether utterance/word position affects learners’ overall production of Spanish voiceless stops. Acoustic analysis in Praat revealed that learners generally produced shorter overall voice onset times (VOTs) on the more formal reading task than the more informal conversational task, and they produced word-initial /p t k/ with significantly longer VOTs than word-internal /p t k/. ANOVA results showed an interaction between speech style and phoneme, indicating that the effect of speech style on learners’ mean VOT depends on the individual target voiceless stop consonant.

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