Use of suprasegmental information in the perception of Spanish lexical stress by Spanish heritage speakers of different generations

Ji Young Kim


The present study examines the perception of Spanish lexical stress by Spanish heritage speakers of different generations and compares their performance to that of Spanish native controls and English second language (L2) learners of Spanish. Previous studies have shown that English L2 learners experience great difficulty in perceiving Spanish lexical stress. Such difficulty is argued to be derived from English listeners using different strategies from Spanish listeners in the perception of stress. Given that Spanish heritage speakers share the same dominant language with English L2 learners (English), but differ from them with regard to the first language (Spanish), the present study intends to seek whether heritage speakers show similar or different patterns when compared with L2 learners. The present study also intends to account for the heterogeneity among heritage speakers by comparing heritage speakers of different generations. Using a forced-choice identification task with stressed minimal pairs of paroxytone and oxytone verbs, results showed that while 1st generation US-born heritage speakers pattern like Spanish native controls by paying more attention to the acoustic cues of the stimuli, 1.5/2nd generation US-born heritage speakers pattern like English L2 learners by showing bias towards paroxytone verbs.


 DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2014-77

Cite as: Kim, J.Y. (2014) Use of suprasegmental information in the perception of Spanish lexical stress by Spanish heritage speakers of different generations. Proc. 7th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2014, 453-456, DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2014-77.


@inproceedings{Kim2014,
  author={Ji Young Kim},
  title={{Use of suprasegmental information in the perception of Spanish lexical stress by Spanish heritage speakers of different generations}},
  year=2014,
  booktitle={Proc. 7th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2014},
  pages={453--456},
  doi={10.21437/SpeechProsody.2014-77},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/SpeechProsody.2014-77}
}