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ERIC Number: EJ1000006
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Apr
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 46
ISSN: ISSN-0267-6583
Extracting Words from the Speech Stream at First Exposure
Shoemaker, Ellenor; Rast, Rebekah
Second Language Research, v29 n2 p165-183 Apr 2013
The earliest stages of adult language acquisition have received increased attention in recent years (cf. Carroll, introduction to this issue). The study reported here aims to contribute to this discussion by investigating the role of several variables in the development of word recognition strategies during the very first hours of exposure to a novel target language (TL). Eighteen native speakers of French with no previous exposure to Polish were tested at intervals throughout a 6.5-hour intensive Polish course on their ability to extract target words from Polish sentences. Following Rast and Dommergues' (2003) first exposure study, stimuli were designed to investigate the effect of three factors: (1) the lexical transparency of the target word with respect to the native language (L1); (2) the frequency of the target word in the input; and (3) the target word's position in the sentence. Results suggest that utterance position plays an essential role in learners' ability to recognize words in the signal at first exposure, indicating acute sensitivity to the edges of prosodic domains. In addition, transparent words (e.g. "professor" "professor") were recognized significantly better than non-transparent words (e.g. "lekarz" "doctor"), suggesting that first exposure learners are highly dependent on L1 phonological forms. Furthermore, the frequency of a target word in the input did not affect performance, suggesting that at the very beginning stages of learning, the amount of exposure to a lexical item alone does not play a significant role in recognition. (Contains 2 tables and 8 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A