Keywords

Quebec French, Second Language Acquisition, Assibilation, Perception, Production

Abstract

In Quebec French (QF), /t/ and /d/ are assibilated to [ts] and [dz] before /i/ and /y/, but not before /u/. Since the /y/-/u/ contrast is known to be difficult for English speakers learning French as a second language (L2), we examine whether L2 learners of French who have acquired the assibilation rule have any advantage in producing and perceiving the French /i/-/y/-/u/ contrast over L2 learners who produce less or no assibilation in their L2 French. Results demonstrate that L2 learners who are strong assibilators are better at producing vowels similarly to native QF speakers than weak assibilators, but in perception, L2 learners who produce strong assibilation had no statistically significant advantage over L2 learners who are weak assibilators in being able to discriminate or identify the French high vowels. We conclude that production of assibilation in L2 Quebec French helps learners in production, though not perception, further providing insight into the relationship between L2 perception and production.

Original Publication Citation

Smith, L. & Baker, W. (2010). Acquiring the high vowel contrast in Quebec French: How assibilation helps. Proceedings of NEW SOUNDS 2010 Sixth International Symposium on the Acquisition of Second Language Speech. London: Mouton de Gruyter Press

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date

2010

Publisher

Mouton de Gruyter Press

Language

English

College

Humanities

Department

Linguistics

University Standing at Time of Publication

Associate Professor

Share

COinS