For adult learners of a second language, the similarities and differences in acoustic properties between their native language and the language they are learning can affect how they perceive the sounds of the new language. How learners perceive these acoustic properties will directly affect their ability to communicate. According to the Perceptual Assimilation Model (PAM) (Best 1995), learners will perceive the sounds of a language that is new to them based on how similar or different the sounds are from the learner’s native language. Between the English and Spanish language, there are some sounds that share acoustic properties and others that show contrast. Such is the case with the stop consonants /p/, /t/, /k/, /b/, /d/, and /g/. These consonants exist in both Spanish and English, and though they are similar, there are important differences in how they should be perceived and produced. Despite the differences, these sounds are likely to be confused by L2 learners due to similarity in acoustic cues. This study will use Best’s Perceptual Assimilation Model (PAM) as a framework. It will test the L2 perception of native English-speaking adults who are L2 learners of Spanish, have spent between 18 and 24 months speaking the target language as Latter-day Saint (LDS or Mormon) missionaries in the United States, and who are also currently university students enrolled in an upper-level Spanish course. It will focus on their perception of the acoustic cue of Voice Onset Time (VOT) of stop consonants.
College and Department
Humanities; Spanish and Portuguese
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Ingersoll, Jeremy Leigh, "The Perception of Voice Onset Time by English-speaking L2 Learners of Spanish with an Extended Partial Immersion Experience" (2019). Theses and Dissertations. 8114.
perceptual assimilation model, voice onset time