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The Language Hoax

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Language and Development in Africa

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Academic Paper


Title: The influence of sentence context and accented speech on lexical access in second-language auditory word recognition
Author: Evelyne Lagrou
Institution: Ghent University
Author: Robert J. Hartsuiker
Institution: Ghent University
Author: Wouter Duyck
Institution: Ghent University
Linguistic Field: Cognitive Science
Subject Language: Dutch
English
Abstract: Until now, research on bilingual auditory word recognition has been scarce, and although most studies agree that lexical access is language-nonselective, there is less consensus with respect to the influence of potentially constraining factors. The present study investigated the influence of three possible constraints. We tested whether language nonselectivity is restricted by (a) a sentence context in a second language (L2), (b) the semantic constraint of the sentence, and (c) the native language of the speaker. Dutch–English bilinguals completed an English auditory lexical decision task on the last word of low- and high-constraining sentences. Sentences were pronounced by a native Dutch speaker with English as the L2, or by a native English speaker with Dutch as the L2. Interlingual homophones (e.g., lief “sweet” – leaf /liːf/) were always recognized more slowly than control words. The semantic constraint of the sentence and the native accent of the speaker modulated, but did not eliminate interlingual homophone effects. These results are discussed within language-nonselective models of lexical access in bilingual auditory word recognition.

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This article appears IN Bilingualism: Language and Cognition Vol. 16, Issue 3, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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