Perception of Foreign Phonemes: The Case of Slovene Students of English

  • Saša Jošt University of Ljubljana
  • Andrej Stopar University of Ljubljana
Keywords: foreign language learning, phonological category, perceptual magnet, vocalic prioritization, discrimination

Abstract

The study focuses on assessing the state of foreign phoneme acquisition by foreign language (FL) students at the end of their undergraduate studies. To determine whether they prioritise vowels over consonants, a perception experiment was devised that focuses on the phonemes in Standard Slovene and General British reported as most problematic for Slovene learners of English. Thirty-three Slovene students of English were tested, along with a positive and a negative control group (CG). A set of stimuli was tested using the AX discrimination method; the participants listened to 60 phonemic contrasts, played in a pseudo-randomised order. The results foregrounded the most problematic phonemes which act as perceptual magnets. Analysis shows that the students can discriminate foreign phonemes well, and that they consistently perform better in discriminating vocalic contrasts.

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Published
2019-06-30
How to Cite
Jošt, S., & Stopar, A. (2019). Perception of Foreign Phonemes: The Case of Slovene Students of English. ELOPE: English Language Overseas Perspectives and Enquiries, 16(1), 47-76. https://doi.org/10.4312/elope.16.1.47-76