PhD Completed: 2020-2021 Academic Year

Supervisor: Dr Juli Cebrian

Area/Topic of Research: L2 Speech

Title/Provisional Title of Thesis: Crosslinguistic influence in English Spanish bilinguals: the effect of language experience and language setting on L1 and L2 VOT production and perception

Short Abstract: One factor that modulates crosslinguistic influence (CLI) is second language (L2) experience, which may result in a more target-like perception and production in the L2, and in a less native-like performance in the first language (L1). This study investigates the effect of L2 experience on the perception and production of L1 and L2 stops. The relationship between both dimensions is also investigated. Two mirror-image populations were tested, including L1-Spanish L2-English and L1-English L2-Spanish speakers differing in L2 experience. Participants completed a perception and a production task in each language involving initial stops. A bidirectional effect of L2 experience was found in the perception of the Spanish groups, since L2 experience resulted in a target-like L2 perception and in a non-native L1 perception. No effect of L2 experience was observed for the English learners, who perceived both L1 and L2 stops according to English values. Both the Spanish and the English learners tended to perceive English and Spanish stops similarly, suggesting a common categorization of L1 and L2 stops. Regarding production, L2 experience had a positive effect on the L2 of both populations, as the experienced learners generally produced stops more accurately than the inexperienced learners. A clearer effect of experience was observed regarding voiceless stops than voiced stops. No evidence of the effect of L2 experience on L1 production was found. Contrary to perception, L2 learners tended to produce Spanish and English stops differently. Finally, when it comes to the relationship between perception and production, no straightforward link was found.