The effect of learning context on Mandarin listeners' perception of English vowels

Jiayi Lu*, Mitsuhiko Ota

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract / Description of output

Do developmental patterns in second language speech perception differ depending on whether the learning takes place in a predominantly naturalistic setting (second language acquisition [SLA]) or an instructed setting (foreign language acquisition [FLA])? We addressed this question by testing the predictions of the extended Perceptual Assimilation Model (PAM-L2) in both settings. Native adult speakers of Mandarin learning English in the UK (SLA learners; N=15) and in China (FLA learners; N=15) performed an ABX discrimination task on 15 pairs of British English vowels. The vowel pairs were classified into six PAM assimilation categories based on goodness-of-fit ratings between English and Mandarin vowels obtained from Mandarin speakers with little exposure to English (N=15). The order of discrimination accuracy for PAM categories did not differ between the two groups (i.e., SLA and FLA), demonstrating that learning context does not affect the relative difficulty with which adult learners perceive non-native vowels.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 20th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences
EditorsRadek Skarnitzl, Jan Volín
Place of PublicationPrague
PublisherGuarant International
ISBN (Electronic)9788090811423
Publication statusPublished - 10 Aug 2023
Event20th International Congress of the Phonetic Sciences - Prague Congress Center, Prague, Czech Republic
Duration: 7 Aug 202311 Aug 2023


Conference20th International Congress of the Phonetic Sciences
Abbreviated titleICPhS
Country/TerritoryCzech Republic
Internet address

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • vowel perception
  • second/foreign language learning
  • Perceptual Assimilation Model


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