ERIC Number: EJ735275
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Oct
The Perception of Second Language Sounds in Early Bilinguals: New Evidence from an Implicit Measure
Navarra, Jordi; Sebastian-Galles, Nuria; Soto-Faraco, Salvador
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, v31 n5 p912-918 Oct 2005
Previous studies have suggested that nonnative (L2) linguistic sounds are accommodated to native language (L1) phonemic categories. However, this conclusion may be compromised by the use of explicit discrimination tests. The present study provides an implicit measure of L2 phoneme discrimination in early bilinguals (Catalan and Spanish). Participants classified the 1st syllable of disyllabic stimuli embedded in lists where the 2nd, task-irrelevant, syllable could contain a Catalan contrastive variation (/epsilon/-/e/) or no variation. Catalan dominants responded more slowly in lists where the 2nd syllable could vary from trial to trial, suggesting an indirect effect of the /epsilon/-/e/ discrimination. Spanish dominants did not suffer this interference, performing indistinguishably from Spanish monolinguals. The present findings provide implicit evidence that even proficient bilinguals categorize L2 sounds according to their L1 representations.
Descriptors: Syllables, Bilingualism, Second Language Learning, Phonemes, Spanish, Acoustics, Interference (Language), Perception Tests, Comparative Analysis, Auditory Discrimination, Native Speakers, Bayesian Statistics
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
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