Speech Perception and Production of English Postvocalic Voicing by Korean and English Speakers

  • Published : 2006.06.30


The main purpose of this study is to investigate whether Korean learners can use the vowel duration cue to distinguish voicing contrasts in word-final consonants in English. Given that the Korean group's performance on the auditory task was much better than their performance on the identification task or on the production task, we conclude that the AX discrimination task makes contact with a different layer of perception. In particular, the AX discrimination task can be done at the auditory or phonetic level, where differences in vowel length are still encoded in the representation. In contrast, the identification and production tasks are probing the mental representation of vowel length and voicing. It was also founded that Korean speakers stored neither vowel length nor voicing in memorized representations and did not internalize the lengthening of the preceding vowel as a rule to differentiate the voicing contrasts of final consonants, even though they were able to detect the acoustic differences in vowel duration provided that they were tested in an appropriate task.