Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Linguistics
While L2 production is widely understood to show traces of L1 interference and general cue availability, the role of visual cue strength on L2 production is previously unstudied. As such, this experiment compares the production of 10 L2 Italian speakers’ intervocalic /p/ - /pp/ and /k/ - /kk/ contrasts, to see if the more visible labial pair is produced more distinctly than its less visible velar counterpart. Participants read an adapted excerpt of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince and a subsequent word list. After compensating for following vowel effects within a subset, intermediate and advanced participants were found to produce more distinct labial than velar pairs; an effect most evident in advanced participants. Furthermore, this thesis discusses a potential asymmetry between the behavior of visible and non-visible gestures produced across different places of articulation, suggesting further research into the potential influence of varying visual cue strengths in L2 production.