The Department of French and Italian

Italian Placement Testing on 08/28 in HRH 2.106B @ 1:30 pm

Early Spanish-Catalan bilinguals' ability to acquire L2 vowel contrasts

Tue, May 1, 2012 | HRH 2.118 (Lounge)

3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

Early Spanish-Catalan bilinguals' ability to acquire L2 vowel contrasts

Presented by Mark Amengual


The present study examines the perception of the Catalan mid-front (/e/, /ɛ/) and midback(/o/, /ɔ/) vowel contrasts by highly proficient early Spanish-Catalan bilinguals in Majorca (Spain). Twenty-two Spanish-Catalan bilinguals completed an identification and AX discrimination task for each mid-vowel contrast. The results from these experiments differ from previous perception studies in Barcelona, suggesting that both Spanishdominant and Catalan-dominant bilinguals in Majorca are able to discriminate the front and back mid-vowel contrasts. The bilinguals in Majorca maintain two independent phonetic categories in the mid-vowel space for Catalan and as a result perceive both phonetic categories despite the overlap of one phonetic category with a category in Spanish. Importantly, the results of this study depart from previous studies in Barcelona in that Spanish-dominant bilinguals are not “deaf” to the Catalan-specific vowel contrast.

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Tavola Italiana

Informal Italian conversation practice Fridays 3-4pm at the Texas Union's Cactus Café. Open to all students of Italian. Contact Antonella Olson for more information.

Le Cercle français

Informal French conversation practice Fridays in the Texas Union's Cactus Café from 3-4pm. Open to all students of French. Contact Nancy Guilloteau for more information.


Italian Placement Testing 

Professor Antonella will be administering placement exams on Monday, August 28th in HRH 2.106B at 1:30 pm. If you are seeking to take an Italian Language Placement Test, please attend this session. Due to time constraints makeups are not guranteed.

Cineforum Italiano

Hosting Italian films with English subtitles every Thursdays at 8:00 pm in Mezes B0.306. 

  • Department of French and Italian

    University of Texas at Austin
    201 W 21st Street STOP B7600
    HRH 2.114A
    Austin, TX 78712-1800