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How Do Speakers of a Language with a Transparent Orthographic System Perceive the L2 Vowels of a Language with an Opaque Orthographic System? An Analysis through a Battery of Behavioral Tests

Department of Languages and Literature, University of Nicosia, Nicosia 2417, Cyprus
Academic Editors: Juana M. Liceras and Raquel Fernández Fuertes
Languages 2021, 6(3), 118; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages6030118
Received: 22 April 2021 / Revised: 29 June 2021 / Accepted: 7 July 2021 / Published: 11 July 2021
Background: The present study aims to investigate the effect of the first language (L1) orthography on the perception of the second language (L2) vowel contrasts and whether orthographic effects occur at the sublexical level. Methods: Fourteen adult Greek learners of English participated in two AXB discrimination tests: one auditory and one orthography test. In the auditory test, participants listened to triads of auditory stimuli that targeted specific English vowel contrasts embedded in nonsense words and were asked to decide if the middle vowel was the same as the first or the third vowel by clicking on the corresponding labels. The orthography test followed the same procedure as the auditory test, but instead, the two labels contained grapheme representations of the target vowel contrasts. Results: All but one vowel contrast could be more accurately discriminated in the auditory than in the orthography test. The use of nonsense words in the elicitation task eradicated the possibility of a lexical effect of orthography on auditory processing, leaving space for the interpretation of this effect on a sublexical basis, primarily prelexical and secondarily postlexical. Conclusions: L2 auditory processing is subject to L1 orthography influence. Speakers of languages with transparent orthographies such as Greek may rely on the grapheme–phoneme correspondence to decode orthographic representations of sounds coming from languages with an opaque orthographic system such as English. View Full-Text
Keywords: orthography; speech perception; deep; shallow orthography; speech perception; deep; shallow
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MDPI and ACS Style

Georgiou, G.P. How Do Speakers of a Language with a Transparent Orthographic System Perceive the L2 Vowels of a Language with an Opaque Orthographic System? An Analysis through a Battery of Behavioral Tests. Languages 2021, 6, 118. https://doi.org/10.3390/languages6030118

AMA Style

Georgiou GP. How Do Speakers of a Language with a Transparent Orthographic System Perceive the L2 Vowels of a Language with an Opaque Orthographic System? An Analysis through a Battery of Behavioral Tests. Languages. 2021; 6(3):118. https://doi.org/10.3390/languages6030118

Chicago/Turabian Style

Georgiou, Georgios P. 2021. "How Do Speakers of a Language with a Transparent Orthographic System Perceive the L2 Vowels of a Language with an Opaque Orthographic System? An Analysis through a Battery of Behavioral Tests" Languages 6, no. 3: 118. https://doi.org/10.3390/languages6030118

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