L1-Spanish L2-English listeners' perception of a Canadian-English continuum was investigated. Results were largely consistent with the developmental stages for L1-Spanish listeners' acquisition of English /i/ and /I/ hypothesized by Escudero (2000): Stage 0, inability to distinguish. Stage 1, duration based. Stage 2, duration and spectral based. Stage 3, L1-English-like primarily spectral based. However, on the basis of the results an additional stage was hypothesized: Stage 1/2, multidimensional-category-goodness-difference assimilation to Spanish /i/, with English vowel tokens perceived as good examples of Spanish /i/ labeled as English /I/ and poor examples labeled as English /i/. It is hypothesized that L1-Spanish listeners' preference for duration cues is not an initial strategy for distinguishing English /i/ and /I/. Rather, it is a secondary developmental stage which emerges from an earlier stage when both spectral and duration cues are used.
- L2 vowel perception