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  • Author: Šárka Šimáčková x
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Šárka Šimáčková and Václav Jonáš Podlipský

Abstract

Recent studies of short-term phonetic interference suggest that code-switching can lead to momentary increases in L1 influence on L2. In an earlier study using a single acoustic measure (VOT), we found that Czech EFL learners’ pronunciation of English voiceless stops had shorter, i.e. more L1-Czech-like, VOTs in code-switched compared to L2-only sentences. The first aim of the current study was to test the prediction that native listeners would judge the code-switched English productions as more foreign-accented than the L2-only productions. The results provide only weak support for this prediction. The second aim was to test whether more native-like VOT values would correlate with improved accentedness scores. This was confirmed for sentence-initial stops.

Open access

Šárka Šimáčková and Václav Jonáš Podlipský

Abstract

Whether late learners discern fine phonetic detail in second-language (L2) input, form new phonetic categories, and realize them accurately remains a relevant question in L2 phonology, especially for foreign-language (FL) learning characterized by limited exposure to interactional native input. Our study focuses on advanced Czech learners’ production of the L2 English vowels GOOSE and FOOT. While English /u/ and /ʊ/ have been undergoing fronting, their Czech equivalents, /uː/ and /u/, are fully back. We show that although the spectral differentiation of /u/-/ʊ/ is smaller in the learners’ than in native speech, the vowels being contrasted primarily in length, even FL learners can shift their L2 sound categories towards native-like targets, or in this case, produce English /u/-/ʊ/ as fronted.

Open access

Václav Jonáš Podlipský, Šárka Šimáčková and David Petráž

Abstract

Some (though not all) previous studies have documented the interlanguage speech intelligibility benefit (ISIB), i.e. the greater intelligibility of non-native (relative to native) speech to non-native listeners as compared to native listeners. Moreover, some studies (again not all) found that native listeners consider foreign-accented statements as less truthful than native-sounding ones. We join these two lines of research, asking whether foreign-accented statements sound more credible to non-native than to native listeners and whether difficult-to-process (less comprehensible) utterances are less credible. In two experiments we measure the intelligibility, comprehensibility and credibility of native and foreign-accented statements for native listeners and non-native listeners matched or mismatched in L1 with non-native talkers. We find an ISIB in both matched and mismatched non-native listeners, and an analogous matched comprehensibility benefit. However, we obtain no evidence of an interlanguage speech credibility benefit. Instead, both matched and mismatched non-native listeners tend to trust native statements more (i.e. statements produced by their target-language models). For native listeners, we do not confirm the tendency to mistrust non-native statements, but we do find a moderate correlation between the comprehensibility and credibility of foreign-accented utterances, giving limited support to the hypothesis that decreased perceptual fluency leads to decreased credibility.