Influence of recent linguistic exposure on the segmentation of an unfamiliar language
Number of pages
SourceThe Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 132, 3, (2012), pp. 1968
22 oktober 2012
Article / Letter to editor
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The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
SubjectLanguage, Education and individual differences; Languages in Transition Stages; niet-RU-publicaties
Studies have shown that listeners segmenting unfamiliar languages transfer native-language (L1) segmentation cues. These studies, however, conflated L1 and recent linguistic exposure. The present study investigates the relative influences of L1 and recent linguistic exposure on the use of prosodic cues for segmenting an artificial language (AL). Participants were L1-French listeners, high-proficiency L2-French L1-English listeners, and L1-English listeners without functional knowledge of French. The prosodic cue assessed was F0 rise, which is word-final in French, but in English tends to be word-initial. 30 participants heard a 20-minute AL speech stream with word-final boundaries marked by F0 rise, and decided in a subsequent listening task which of two words (without word-final F0 rise) had been heard in the speech stream. The analyses revealed a marginally significant effect of L1 (all listeners) and, importantly, a significant effect of recent linguistic exposure (L1-French and L2-French listeners): accuracy increased with decreasing time in the US since the listeners’ last significant (3+ months) stay in a French-speaking environment.
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