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LINGUIST List 23.4864

Thu Nov 22 2012

Books: Phonotactics and Its Acquisition, Representation, and Use: Boll- Avetisyan

Editor for this issue: Danniella Hornby <daniellalinguistlist.org>

Date: 20-Nov-2012
From: Mariƫtte Bonenkamp <lotuu.nl>
Subject: Phonotactics and Its Acquisition, Representation, and Use: Boll- Avetisyan
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Title: Phonotactics and Its Acquisition, Representation, and Use
Subtitle: An Experimental-Phonological Study
Series Title: LOT dissertation series

Publication Year: 2012
Publisher: Netherlands Graduate School of Linguistics / Landelijke - LOT

Author: Natalie Boll- Avetisyan

Paperback: ISBN: 9789460930805 Pages: Price: Europe EURO


One of the most challenging tasks for language-learning infants and second
language (L2)-learning adults is to segment the continuous stream of speech
that surrounds them, and, following this, to acquire a lexicon. Both speech
segmentation and lexical acquisition are known to be facilitated by
phonotactics, i.e., language-specific restrictions on how phonemes may
combine. This dissertation addresses questions regarding the representation
and acquisition of such phonotactic knowledge in a native language and an L2.
Five experimental studies are presented. The first three studies, using the
artificial language learning paradigm, reveal that segmentation is influenced
by structural phonotactic knowledge of OCP-PLACE, a restriction against pairs
of consonants sharing the feature [Place]. It is shown that this knowledge is
used only by native listeners or advanced L2 learners of a language restricted
by the constraint. This suggests a language-specific acquisition from the
input. The third study, with infants, shows that this input is continuous
speech rather than the lexicon. The remaining two studies demonstrate that
abstract phonotactic knowledge of syllable structure is represented separately
from specific probabilistic knowledge, as the two have separate effects on
lexical acquisition in a short-term memory recall task. Moreover, results from
L2 learners suggest that probabilistic knowledge can be acquired independently
of structural knowledge of the L2. While most studies have looked at the
influence of specific representations of phonotactic probability, here it is
shown that representations of abstract structural constraints also influence
processing. Moreover, it is demonstrated that both types of phonotactic
representations are acquired from the input.

Linguistic Field(s): Language Acquisition

Written In: English (eng)

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