Negative transfer from Spanish to English in vowels /ʌ/ and /æ/

  • Luis Cid Colegio St. John's School
Keywords: English teaching, foreign language acquisition, spelling, linguistic transfer, phonetic-phonological negative transfer


The aim of this non-experimental descriptive study is to establish if linguisticnegative transfer caused by the aural perception of Spanish vowel phonemesis responsible for spelling mistakes found in 5th graders’ written texts from aSpanish-English bilingual school in Concepción, Chile. The subjects of thisstudy participated in an aural perception test in which they had to representthe English vowels /ʌ/ and /æ/ —these vowels were presented in twelve pseudowords. The results are consistent with the literature on the subject of phonetic-phonological negative transfer, suggesting the influence of Spanish phonicson the auditory vowel perception in English, both for pseudo words within asemantic context and in isolation.

= 119 veces | PDF
= 102 veces| HTML
= 0 veces| ANEXOS
= 0 veces|


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

Luis Cid, Colegio St. John's School

B.A in Education and Master in Applied Linguistics, Universidad de Concepción. Professor of English, St. John’s School, Concepción, Chile.


Alonso Rey, R. (2011). La transferencia en la producción escrita de ple-he (nivel iniciación): una teoría explica-tiva de ASL. Salamanca: Universidad de Salamanca.

Best, C. T. (1995). A direct realistic view of cross-language speech perception. En W. Strange, Speech Perception and Linguistic Experience: Issues in Cross-Language Research (pp. 171-204). Nueva York: Timonium, MD: York Press, Inc.

Bialystok, E. (2001). Bilingualism in Development: Language, Literacy & Cognition. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.

Bradley, L., y Bryant, P. E. (1983). Categorizing sounds and learning to read—a causal connection. Nature, 301,419-421.Bradlow, A. (1995). A comparative acoustic study of En-glish and Spanish Vowels. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 97(3), 1916-1924.

Bryant, P. (2002). Children’s thoughts about reading and spelling. Scientific Studies of Reading, 6(2), 199-216.

Defior, S., Martos, F., y Cary, L. (2002). Differences in reading acquisition development in two shallow orthographies: Portuguese and Spanish. Applied Psycholinguistics, 23(1), 135-148.

Denton, C. A., Hasbrouk, J. E., Weaver, L. R., y Riccio, C. A. (2000). What do we know about phonological aware-ness in Spanish? Reading Psychology, 21(4), 335-352.

Dupoux, E., y Peperkam, S. (2002). Fossil markers of language development: Phonological deafnesses in adult speech processing. En J. Durand y B. Laks, Phonetics, Phonology, and Cognition (pp. 168-190). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Eckman, F. R. (1977). Markedness and the contrastive analy-sis hypothesis. Language Learning, 27(2), 315-330.

Flege, J. (1995). Second language speech learning: Theory, findings, and problems. En W. Strange, Speech Perception and Linguistic Experience: Issues in Cross-Language Research (pp. 233-277). Nueva York: Baltimore, MD: York Press.

Fries, C. C. (1945). Teaching and Learning English as a Foreign Language. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

Gass, S., y Selinker, L. (1992). Language Transfer in Language Learning. Filadelfia: John Benjamins.

Gil Valdés, M. J. (2010). Transferencias positiva y negativa en la adquisición de la fonética alemana por estudiantes españoles. Cuadernos de Filología Alemana, Anejo II, 109-115.

Hansen Edwards, J. G., y Zampini, M. L. (Eds.) (2008). Phonology and Second Language Acquisition. Vol. 36. Ámsterdam, Filadelfia: John Benjamins Publishing.

Hornberger, N. H. (1994). Continua of Biliteracy (cap. 1, pp. 3-34). Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters.

Ioup, G. (2008). Exploring the role of age in the acquisition of a second language phonology. En J. G. Hansen Edwards y M. L. Zampini (Eds.), Phonology and Second Language Acquisition (vol. 36, pp. 41-62). Ámsterdam, Filadelfia: John Benjamins Publishing.

Juhasz, J. (1970). Probleme der Interferenz. Múnich: Hueber.

Kessler, B., y Treiman, R. (2001). Relationships between sounds and letters in English monosyllables. Journal of Memory and Language, 44, 592-617.Koda, K. (1997). Orthographic knowledge in L2 lexical processing: A cross-linguistic perspective. En J. Coady, y T. Huckin (Eds.), Second Language Vocabulary Acquisition: A Rationale for Pedagogy (pp. 35-52). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Kuhl, P. (2010a). Cracking the Speech Code: Language and the Infant Brain. The twelveth Benjamin and Anne A. Pinkel Lecture on mind/brain paradigms. Pensilvania: University of Pennsylvania.

Kuhl, P. (2010b). Brain mechanisms in early language acquisition. Neuron, 67(5), 713-727. Recuperado de

Kuhl, P., e Iverson, P. (1995). Linguistic experience and the “Perceptual Magnet Effect”. En W. Strange, Speech Perception and Linguistic Experience: Issues in Cross-Language Research (pp. 121-154). Nueva York: Timonium, MD: York Press, Inc.Kuhl, P., y Rivera-Garxiola, M. (2008). Neural Substrates of Language Acquisition. Annu. Rev.

Neurosci. (31), pp. 511-34. Recuperado de

Lado, R. (1957). Linguistics Across Cultures: Applied Linguistics for Language Teachers. Michigan, USA: Michigan University Press.

Liberman, A. M., Harris, K. S., Hoffman, H. S., & Griffith, B. C. (1957). The discrimination of speech sounds within and across phoneme boundaries. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 54(5), 358-368.

Müller, M. (1861/1965). Lectures on the Science of Language. New Delhi: Munshi RamManohar Lal.

Odlin, T. (1989). Language Transfer: Cross-Linguistic Influence in Language Learning. Nueva York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

Polivanov, E. (1931). La perception des sons d’une langue étrangère. Travaux du Cercle Linguistique de Prague, 4, pp. 79-96

Schlagal, R. C. (1992). Patterns of orthographic development into the intermediate grades. En S. Templeton y D.

R. Bear (Eds.), Development of Orthographic Knowledge and the Foundations of Literacy: A Memorial Festschrift for Edmund H. Henderson (pp. 31-52). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Selinker, L. (1972). Interlanguage. International Review of Applied Linguistics, 10(3), 209-231.

Shaozhong, L. (2001). Studies on Transfer in Second Language Acquisition. Guilin: Guangxi Normal University.

Strange, W., y Shafer, V. L. (2008). Speech perception in second language learners: The re-education of selective perception. En J. G. Hansen Edwards y M. L. Zampini (Eds.), Phonology and Second Language Acquisition (Vol. 36, pp. 153-191). Ámsterdam, Fi-ladelfia: John Benjamins Publishing.

Sun-Alperin, M. (2007). Cross-Language Transfer of Phonological and Ortographic processing skills in Spanish Speaking Children Learning to Read and Spell in English. University of Maryland: Marlene Sun-Alperin.

Swan, M., y Smith, B. (2001). Learner English. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Treiman, R. (1993). Beginning to Spell. Nueva York: Oxford University Press.

Trubetzkoy, N. (1987 [1939]). Principios de la fonología. Madrid: Cincel

Venezky, R. (1967). English orthography: Its graphical structure and its relation to sound. Reading Research Quarterly, 2, 75-105.

Weinreich, U. (1953). Sprachen in Kontakt, Ergebnisse und Probleme der. Múnich: Beck

How to Cite
Cid L. (2017). Negative transfer from Spanish to English in vowels /ʌ/ and /æ/. Íkala, 22(2), 287-309.
Methodological Articles