The predictions of Flege's Speech Learning Model and Brown's Featural Model of Phonological Interference for second language segmental perception were tested with 33 Japanese learners of Russian. Eight segments of Russian were examined in a 4IAX task (dual pair discrimination): /sh, zh, l, r, ts, f, mj, pj/. Japanese learners of all levels poorly differentiated the /r-l/ and /sh-shch/ contrasts, while beginners also had problems with palatalized segments. The Featural Model pointed toward problematic areas encountered by learners, while Flege's theory could not. These results provide evidence that learners' underlying representations may be constrained by the features contained in their L1 phonemic inventory.
Proceedings of the 6th Generative Approaches to Second Language Acquisition Conference (GASLA 2002): L2 Links
edited by Juana M. Liceras, Helmut Zobl, and Helen Goodluck
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