Date of Graduation

5-2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science Education

Degree Level

Undergraduate

Department

Rehabilitation, Human Resources and Communication Disorders

Advisor

Frazier, Kimberly

Reader

Cook, Aletha

Second Reader

Aslin, Larry

Abstract

The purpose of the present study was to examine the differences between perceptions of non-native phonotactic rules and constraints by monolingual English-speaking undergraduate students in a program of communication disorders who had taken and passed a course in the study of phonology and by undergraduate students in communication disorders who had not yet taken a course in phonology. Participants listened to audio recordings of words from Hindi, Hmong, Kurdish, Russian, and Swedish recorded by speakers fluent in those languages. Each of the words contained at least one phonotactic constraint that is not permitted in American English phonology. Participants were instructed to write exactly what they heard after each word in the recordings, and their perceptions of the illegal constraints were scored as correct or incorrect. No significant difference was found between the students who had taken a phonology course and the students who had not. Additionally, participants did not perform significantly better for one language over the others for either groups, but Group A performed the best for Swedish, while Group B performed the best for Russian. The most common misperception made was the omission of one phoneme when two were illegally combined. The results of this study, though not consistent with anticipated results, have many implications for issues concerning the linguistic diversity of the United States, among other issues related to language.

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