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Identifying Plosives in L2 English

The Case of L1 Cypriot Greek Speakers

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Elena Kkese

This volume presents the results of two tasks examining the acquisition of plosive voicing contrasts in L2 English by college students with Cypriot Greek (CG) backgrounds. The tasks focus on the different factors affecting plosive identification and the types of errors involving plosives. With respect to the first issue, the phonetic perception of plosives turns out to be better in voiceless consonants compared to their voiced counterparts, thus providing evidence for the importance of the voicing contrast factor. With respect to the second issue, the results point to the same direction since it appears that L2 users performed significantly better in voiceless plosives. It is also indicated that they were able to perceive voiced plosives but they treated such instances as a /nasal+voiced plosive/sequence (prenasalised plosives). Therefore, the overall results seem to agree mostly with the speech perception approach suggesting that voiced plosives are realised differently in CG while the difficulties of the L2 CG users with plosives seem to be attributed to VOT differences between the L1 and the L2.

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Chapter Four: Results

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Introduction

This chapter presents the results of the data analyses of both the descriptive and inferential analyses used in this study (the outputs from SPSS are listed in Appendix F pp. 254–314). Section One begins with the description of the participants who were excluded from the analysis before turning to the discussion of the results. Further, background information is provided regarding the participants’ English proficiency level in an effort to document the homogeneity of the group. Section Two addresses the first research question aiming at identifying the factors that affect the identification of plosive consonants by CG users of L2 English as these have resulted from the theoretical inquiry (see Ch.2 Section 3 3.1–3.5) and were discussed in detail in the methodology chapter (see Ch.3 section 1). In answering this question, the quantitative data collected from the two identification tasks (Word identification task and Words-in-Sentences identification task) is used while it is also determined what factor(s) are the most important influencing the identification of plosives. Once the factors are identified (Research Question 1), the next step is to investigate how participants try to cope with these difficulties and which are the strategies they adopt (Research Question 2). As a result, Section Three addresses the second research question examining the types of perception errors of the participants concerning plosive consonants though the quantitative data collected from the second task.

Results for the first section are presented with the aid of descriptive statistics...

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