Suprasegmental information cues morphological anticipation during L1/L2 lexical access


We use visual-world eye-tracking and gating methods to investigate whether Spanish monolinguals and English late learners of Spanish use prosodic cues (lexical stress) to anticipate morphological information (suffixes) during spoken word recognition, and if they do, whether L2 proficiency and working memory (WM) mediate their anticipatory abilities. Our findings show that the monolinguals used prosodic information to predict word endings in both tasks, regardless of first-syllable stress (stressed, unstressed) and structure (CV, CVC). In contrast, the beginning learners did not use prosodic information to anticipate word suffixes in any task or condition. Importantly, the advanced learners mirrored the monolinguals, except in words with first-syllable CV structure, but were slower than the monolinguals. Finally, WM was not associated with anticipatory eye movements, though results were inconclusive for offline processing. Taken together, the present study shows that suprasegmental information facilitates morphological anticipation during spoken word recognition, and that adult learners can gain anticipatory processing patterns qualitatively, but not quantitatively, similar to monolinguals.

In Journal of Second Language Studies (1), 1.
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