From phoneme to lexicon in non-native listening
|From phoneme to lexicon in non-native listening
|Year of Publication
|Workshop on First and Second Language Acquisition
|Cutler, Anne, Andrea Weber, and Takshi Otake
|Nederlandse Vereniging voor Fonetische Wetenschappen
|Nijmegen, The Netherlands
When phonemic contrasts of first and second languages mismatch, native phonemic categories can capture second-language input. This effect can have far-reaching consequences for understanding:
However, Weber and Cutler also found that the confusability was asymmetric: given pencil as target, panda did not distract more than distinct competitors. They suggested that stored representations may maintain second-language distinctions even when native phonemic categories effectively over-rule the distinctions in input processing.
A subsequent experiment tests for such asymmetry with Japanese listeners' perception of English r/l contrasts. We also tested for asymmetry in non-natives' pseudo-homophony, via a lexical decision study examining repetition priming. English materials, presented to Dutch and Japanese listeners, included pairs such as cattle/kettle and right/light. Dutch listeners responded significantly faster to one member of a cattle/kettle pair after having heard the other member earlier (compared with having heard a control word), suggesting that both words had been activated whichever had been heard. Japanese listeners, however, showed no such priming for cattle/kettle words, but did show repetition priming across r/l pairs (e.g. right/light).