The influence of age of acquisition, language proficiency and language use on Singapore English consonant perception


  • Kastoori Kalaivanan DUKE-NUS Medical School
  • Firqin Sumartono National University of Singapore
  • Ying-Ying Tan Nanyang Technological University



Singapore English, language use, proficiency, consonants, age of acquisition (AoA)


The present study investigates the extent to which age of acquisition (AoA), English language proficiency and use influence consonant perception in Singapore English (SgE). Consonantal pairs of interest were presented in a gating paradigm to determine the amount of linguistic information participants required for accurate consonant identification as a measure of perceptual acuity. Only the [th]–[?] and [t]–[?] phonetic contrasts emerged sensitive to differences in AoA of English, with the early AoA group outperforming the late AoA group. Language proficiency and use did not significantly influence consonant perception. The findings are discussed in light of how AoA may interact with the universal difficulty and distributional regularities of speech contrasts to affect speech processing. Future studies should investigate a wider range of SgE speakers and identify distributional regularities of speech sounds to gain a more comprehensive picture of the factors that influence consonant perception in SgE.


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How to Cite

Kalaivanan, Kastoori, Firqin Sumartono, and Ying-Ying Tan. 2022. “The Influence of Age of Acquisition, Language Proficiency and Language Use on Singapore English Consonant Perception”. Journal of Monolingual and Bilingual Speech 4 (1):1–29.