Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in Modern Languages

First Advisor

Vance Schaefer

Second Advisor

Tamara Warhol

Third Advisor

Ala I. Simonchyk

Relational Format



This study examines the effects of non-native phonotactic constraints on the perception of nasal-initial consonant clusters (NICC), specifically whether native English speakers can perceive NICC as accurately as native Swahili speakers. The ABX task was conducted over Zoom to test L1 English speakers (N=12) and L1 Swahili speakers (N=12). Stimuli with four conditions were used: 1) The stimuli had one of the three nasal sounds (/m/, /n/, and /?/) in word-initial consonant clusters; 2) The stimuli had NICC composed of a nasal sound followed by either a voiced or voiceless consonant; 3) The consonant clusters were composed of sounds that are pronounced in the same or different place of articulation; 4) The stimuli had counterparts formed by either deleting a nasal sound or inserting a vowel sound between consonant clusters.



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