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Published Article

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Bilingualism: Language and Cognition

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First and Second Language Acquisition | Linguistics | Phonetics and Phonology | Psycholinguistics and Neurolinguistics | Spanish and Portuguese Language and Literature

Description, Abstract, or Artist's Statement

While considerable dialectal variation exists, almost all varieties of Spanish exhibit some sort of alternation in terms of the palatal obstruent segments. Typically, the palatal affricate [ɟʝ] tends to occur in word onset following a pause and in specific linear phonotactic environments. The palatal fricative [ʝ] tends to occur in syllable onset in other contexts. We show that listeners’ perceptual sensitivity to the palatal alternation depends upon the task and exposure to Spanish input. For native Spanish listeners, the palatal alternation boosts segmentation accuracy on an artificial speech segmentation task and also reduces latencies on a phonotactically-conditioned elision task. L2 Spanish listeners, on the other hand, only benefit from the palatal alternation in the second task. These results suggest that while Spanish L2 learners benefit from the presence of the alternation in linear phonotactic terms, this benefit does not carry over to a more abstract segmentation task.


This is a pre-print version of the article that appears in Bilingualism, Language and Cognition.

Original Citation

Shea, Christine and Jeffrey Renaud. 2014. L2 perception of Spanish palatal variants across different tasks. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition 17 (1), 203-221. doi:10.1017/S1366728913000047.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.