Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name





Michael I. Mandel

Subject Categories

Computational Linguistics | First and Second Language Acquisition | Phonetics and Phonology


Korean fricatives, Korean affricates, speech perception in noise, second language acquisition, “bubble” methods


The current study examines acoustic cues used by second language learners of Korean to discriminate between Korean fricatives and affricates in noise and how these cues relate to those used by native Korean listeners. Stimuli consist of naturally-spoken consonant-vowel-consonant-vowel (CVCV) syllables: /sɑdɑ/, /s*ɑdɑ/, /tʃɑdɑ/, /tʃhɑdɑ/, and /tʃ*ɑdɑ/. In this experiment, the “bubble noise” methodology of Mandel at al. (2016) was used to identify the time-frequency locations of important cues in each utterance, i.e., where audibility of the location is significantly correlated with correct identification of the utterance in noise. Results show that non-native Korean listeners can discriminate between Korean fricatives and affricates in noise after training with the specific utterances. However, the acoustic cues used by L2 Korean listeners are different from those used by native Korean listeners. There were explicit differences in the use of the acoustic cues between the two groups for identifying tenseness. The results of this study contribute to a better understanding of how second language learners of Korean process language. Furthermore, the current study helps us to better understand how people learning a second language process speech perception in noisy environments.



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