Second Language Acquisition of the Spanish Multiple Vibrant Consonant

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/193572
Title:
Second Language Acquisition of the Spanish Multiple Vibrant Consonant
Author:
Johnson, Keith E.
Issue Date:
2008
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
The Spanish voiced alveolar multiple vibrant consonant /r/, or trill, is often regarded as one of the most difficult sounds in the Spanish phonological inventory for second language (L2) learners. Trills are particularly difficult segments because of their exacting articulatory requirements for production. The highly restricted gestural and aerodynamic configuration required to successfully produce trills could lead to non-native trills automatically being native-like once acquired by learners, unlike other segments which generally show measurably gradient approximation of native values over time. This study employed two experiments to investigate the characteristics of L2 acquisition of Spanish /r/ by adult native speakers of English. The first experiment broadly surveyed the frequency of trill production at four levels of proficiency and among a comparison group of native speakers of Mexican Spanish when trills were the target segments in words. This experiment was designed to show the rate of trill frequency at different learner-levels and to compare it with the rate at which native speakers produce trills. A pattern of increasing ability to produce trills as proficiency level increased was found, as was a pattern of substitution of the alveolar tap as an intermediate strategy among learners who had ceased to transfer American English <italic>r</italic> but who had not yet acquired the ability to produce trills consistently. The second experiment investigated the aerodynamic properties of successfully produced trills to see if the trills of learners who had acquired the ability to produce trills displayed different physical properties from native speakers' trills. Patterns of both "categorical" and "gradient" acquisition were found. On the several measures studied, non-native trills showed patterns of acquisition in which their trills either were immediately native-like, acquired with non-native-like properties which fossilized with no further improvement, or showed gradient improvement in the direction of nativeness as proficiency level increased.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
acquisition; second language; Spanish; trill; vibrant
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Second Language Acquisition & Teaching; Graduate College
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Warner, Natasha
Committee Chair:
Warner, Natasha

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoENen_US
dc.titleSecond Language Acquisition of the Spanish Multiple Vibrant Consonanten_US
dc.creatorJohnson, Keith E.en_US
dc.contributor.authorJohnson, Keith E.en_US
dc.date.issued2008en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractThe Spanish voiced alveolar multiple vibrant consonant /r/, or trill, is often regarded as one of the most difficult sounds in the Spanish phonological inventory for second language (L2) learners. Trills are particularly difficult segments because of their exacting articulatory requirements for production. The highly restricted gestural and aerodynamic configuration required to successfully produce trills could lead to non-native trills automatically being native-like once acquired by learners, unlike other segments which generally show measurably gradient approximation of native values over time. This study employed two experiments to investigate the characteristics of L2 acquisition of Spanish /r/ by adult native speakers of English. The first experiment broadly surveyed the frequency of trill production at four levels of proficiency and among a comparison group of native speakers of Mexican Spanish when trills were the target segments in words. This experiment was designed to show the rate of trill frequency at different learner-levels and to compare it with the rate at which native speakers produce trills. A pattern of increasing ability to produce trills as proficiency level increased was found, as was a pattern of substitution of the alveolar tap as an intermediate strategy among learners who had ceased to transfer American English <italic>r</italic> but who had not yet acquired the ability to produce trills consistently. The second experiment investigated the aerodynamic properties of successfully produced trills to see if the trills of learners who had acquired the ability to produce trills displayed different physical properties from native speakers' trills. Patterns of both "categorical" and "gradient" acquisition were found. On the several measures studied, non-native trills showed patterns of acquisition in which their trills either were immediately native-like, acquired with non-native-like properties which fossilized with no further improvement, or showed gradient improvement in the direction of nativeness as proficiency level increased.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectacquisitionen_US
dc.subjectsecond languageen_US
dc.subjectSpanishen_US
dc.subjecttrillen_US
dc.subjectvibranten_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineSecond Language Acquisition & Teachingen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorWarner, Natashaen_US
dc.contributor.chairWarner, Natashaen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberOhala, Dianeen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberUssishkin, Adamen_US
dc.identifier.proquest10063en_US
dc.identifier.oclc659750480en_US
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