2,498 research outputs found

    Child L2 development: a longitudinal case study on voice onset times in word-initial stops

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    This paper reports the results of a longitudinal case study examining the acquisition of the English voice system by a three-year-old native speaker of Dutch. The Study aims to examine whether the child develops two different phonetic systems or uses just one system for both languages, and compares the early L2 acquisition process with L1, simultaneous bilingual and late L2 acquisition. The results reveal that the child successfully acquires the English contrast between short-lag and long-lag stops, but gradually changes the Dutch system, which contrasts prevoiced with short-lag stops, into the direction of the English system

    Laryngeal stop systems in contact: connecting present-day acquisition findings and historical contact hypotheses

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    This article examines the linguistic forces at work in present-day second language and bilingual acquisition of laryngeal contrasts, and to what extent these can give us insight into the origin of laryngeal systems of Germanic voicing languages like Dutch, with its contrast between prevoiced and unaspirated stops. The results of present-day child and adult second language acquisition studies reveal that both imposition and borrowing may occur when the laryngeal systems of a voicing and an aspirating language come into contact with each other. A scenario is explored in which socially dominant Germanic-speaking people came into contact with a Romance-speaking population, and borrowed the Romance stop system

    Acquiring a new second language contrast: an analysis of the English laryngeal system of native speakers of Dutch

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    This study examines the acquisition of the English laryngeal system by native speakers of (Belgian) Dutch. Both languages have a two-way laryngeal system, but while Dutch contrasts prevoiced with short-lag stops, English has a contrast between short-lag and long-lag stops. The primary aim of the article is to test two hypotheses on the acquisition process based on first language acquisition research: (1) native speakers of a voicing language will succeed in producing short-lag stops in the target aspirating language, since short-lag stops occur early in first language acquisition and can be considered unmarked and since one member of the contrast is formed by short-lag stops in both voicing and aspirating languages, and (2) native speakers of a voicing language will succeed in acquiring long-lag stops in the target language, because aspiration is an acoustically salient realization. The analysis is based on an examination of natural speech data (conversations between dyads of informants), combined with the results of a controlled reading task. Both types of data were gathered in Dutch as well as in Eng(Dutch) (i.e. the English speech of native speakers of Dutch). The analysis revealed an interesting pattern: while the first language (L1) Dutch speakers were successful in acquiring long-lag aspirated stops (confirming hypothesis 2), they did not acquire English short-lag stops (rejecting hypothesis 1). Instead of the target short-lag stops, the L1 Dutch speakers produced prevoiced stops and frequently transferred regressive voice assimilation with voiced stops as triggers from Dutch into English. Various explanations for this pattern in terms of acoustic salience, perceptual cues and training will be considered

    Second language acquisition and the younger learner. Child's play?

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    Phonological category quality in the mental lexicon of child and adult learners

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    • Aims and Objectives: The aim was to identify which criteria children used to decide on the category membership of native and non-native vowels, and to get insight into the organization of phonological representations in the bilingual mind. • Methodology: The study consisted of two cross-language mispronunciation detection tasks, in which L2 vowels were inserted in L1 words, and vice versa. In Experiment 1, 9-12-year-old Dutch-speaking children were presented with Dutch words which were either pronounced with the target Dutch vowel or with an English vowel inserted in the Dutch consonantal frame. Experiment 2 was a mirror of the first, with English words which were pronounced ‘correctly’ or which were ‘mispronounced’ with a Dutch vowel. • Data and Analysis: It was examined to what extent child and adult listeners accepted substitutions of Dutch vowels by English ones, and vice versa, and which vowel substitutions were accepted or rejected. • Findings: The results of Experiment 1 revealed that at that age children have well-established phonological vowel categories in their native language. However, Experiment 2 showed that in the non-native language, children tended to accept mispronounced items which involve sounds from their native language. At the same time, though, they did fully rely on their native phonemic inventory because the children accepted most of the correctly pronounced English items. • Originality: While many studies have examined native and non-native perception by infants, studies on first and second language perception of school-age children are rare. This study adds to the body of literature aimed at expanding our knowledge in this area. • Implications: The study has implications for models of the organization of the bilingual mind: while proficient adult non-native listeners generally have clearly separated sets of phonological representations for their two languages, for non-proficient child learners, the L1 phonology still exerts a big influence on the L2 phonology

    Test Scores, Subjective Assessment and Stereotyping of Ethnic Minorities

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    We assess whether ethnic minority pupils are subject to low teacher expectations. We exploit the English testing system of “quasi-blind” externally marked tests and “non-blind” internal assessment to compare differences in these assessment methods between White and ethnic minority pupils. We find evidence that some ethnic groups are systematically “under-assessed” relative to their White peers, while some are “over-assessed”. We propose a stereotype model in which a teacher’s local experience of an ethnic group affects assessment of current pupils; this is supported by the data.Subjective assessment, stereotypes, education, test score gaps, ethnic minorities
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