The role of secondary cues in voicing categorization was investigated in three listener groups: Monolingual English (n=20) and Spanish speakers (n=20), and Spanish speakers with significant English experience (n=16). Results showed that, in all three groups, participants used onset f0 in making voicing decisions only in the positive voice onset time (VOT) range (short lag and long lag tokens), while there was no effect of onset f0 on voicing categorization within the negative VOT range (voicing lead tokens) for any of the participant groups. These results support an auditory enhancement view of perceptual cue weighting: Onset f0 serves as a secondary cue to voicing only in the positive VOT range where it is not overshadowed by the presence of pre-voicing. Moreover, results showed that Spanish learners of English gave a significantly greater weight to onset f0 in their voicing decisions than did listeners in either of the other two groups. This result supports the view that learners may overweight secondary cues to distinguish between non-native categories that are assimilated to the same native category on the basis of a primary cue.


Publisher version:

Llanos, Fernando, Olga Dmitrieva, Amanda Shultz, and Alexander L. Francis. “Auditory Enhancement and Second Language Experience in Spanish and English Weighting of Secondary Voicing Cues.” The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 134, no. 3 (September 2013): 2213–2224. doi:10.1121/1.4817845.

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