Chapter published in:Critical Reflections on Data in Second Language Acquisition
Edited by Aarnes Gudmestad and Amanda Edmonds
[Language Learning & Language Teaching 51] 2018
► pp. 89–124
What L2 phonetic data might be telling us that we do not always hear
Within the field of second-language (L2) phonetics, development in the production of a L2 phone is often conceived of as the modification of specific phonetic properties to approximate native-speaker norms. This approach permits precise accounts of L2 sound learning but can also lead to a narrow view of L2 phonetic acquisition. To illustrate this point, this chapter reports on a study of the acquisition of the Spanish lateral phoneme by English-speaking learners. A prior analysis of these data (Solon, 2017) explored lateral production according to one acoustic-phonetic property. For the present study, all data were reexamined and learner productions were classified descriptively according to phenomena observed in the data; categorizations were tallied and potential patterns were explored. Results reveal that learners frequently employ production phenomena in their L2 that are not common in learners’ native or target languages, some of which may represent systematic developmental phenomena. This chapter argues that L2 acoustic-phonetic research could benefit from ‘listening’ more to data to hear what they might be telling us on their own before or in addition to exploring specific, established measures.
Keywords: second-language acquisition, phonetics and phonology, acoustic analysis,
Published online: 10 September 2018
(2017) Audacity [Computer software]. Available for download at http://www.audacityteam.org/
Baker, W., & Trofimovich, P.
Boersma, P., & Weenink, D.
(2014) Praat: doing phonetics by computer [Computer program]. Version 5.3.85. Retrieved from: http://www.praat.org/
Flege, J. E.
Flege, J. E., & Hillenbrand, J.
Geeslin, K. L., & Gudmestad, A.
Gudmestad, A., & Geeslin, K. L.
Hall-Lew, L., & Fix, S.
Hansen Edwards, J. G., & Zampini, M. L.
Kaneko, E., Heo, Y., Iverson, G., & Wilson, I.
Major, R. C.
Menke, M. R., & Face, T. L.
Olive, J. P., Greenwood, A., & Coleman, J.
Ronquest, R. E.
Schmidt, L. B., & Willis, E. W. W.
Sjölander, K., & Beskow, J.
(2006) WaveSurfer [Computer software]. Available for download at https://sourceforge.net/projects/wavesurfer/
Sproat, R., & Fujimura, O.
Willis, E. W., & Bradley, T. G.
Willis, E. W., & Solon, M.