Dan Du(Beijing Language and Culture University), Xianjin Zhu(Harbin Institute of Technology), Zhu Li(Beijing Language and Culture University) and Jinsong Zhang(Beijing Language and Culture University)
In the area of second language (L2) acquisition, studies of stop consonants have focused on those first language (L1) and L2 with a two-way stop contrast and a three-way stop contrast, few are about languages with a four-way stop contrast. The current study, mainly concerning VOT, investigates how native speakers of a language with a four-way stop contrast acquire the two-way stop contrast in L2. Mandarin presents a two-way stop contrast, which is primarily differentiated by VOT, whereas Urdu presents a four-way stop contrast. Speech perception and production experiments are designed to explore L2 learners with a more complex language system learning a relatively simple language system, and the results show that the speech perception of Mandarin initial stops by native Urdu speakers has no significant difference compared with those by Chinese speakers while the speech production by native Urdu speakers is significantly different from those by Chinese speakers. It demonstrates that L1 exerts different influences on L2 perception and production separately and sometimes good L2 perception doesn’t mean good L2 production. This study has made some contribution about the four-way stop contrast in L2 acquisition and will shed light on L2 learning.