Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Learning words in a new language: Orthography doesn't always help*

  • PAOLA ESCUDERO (a1), ELLEN SIMON (a2) and KAREN E. MULAK (a1)

Abstract

Previous studies have shown that orthography is activated during speech processing and that it may have positive and negative effects for non-native listeners. The present study examines whether the effect of orthography on non-native word learning depends on the relationship between the grapheme–phoneme correspondences across the native and non-native orthographic systems. Specifically, congruence between grapheme–phoneme correspondences across the listeners’ languages is predicted to aid word recognition, while incongruence is predicted to hinder it. Native Spanish listeners who were Dutch learners or naïve listeners (with no exposure to Dutch) were taught Dutch pseudowords and their visual referents. They were trained with only auditory forms or with auditory and orthographic forms. During testing, non-native listeners were less accurate when the target and distractor pseudowords formed a minimal pair (differing in only one vowel) than when they formed a non-minimal pair, and performed better on perceptually easy than on perceptually difficult minimal pairs. For perceptually difficult minimal pairs, Dutch learners performed better than naïve listeners and Dutch proficiency predicted learners’ word recognition accuracy. Most importantly and as predicted, exposure to orthographic forms during training aided performance on minimal pairs with congruent orthography, while it hindered performance on minimal pairs with incongruent orthography.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Paola Escudero, MARCS Institute, University of Western Sydney, Locked Bag 1797, Penrith NSW 2751, Australia paola.escudero@uws.edu.au

Footnotes

Hide All
*

This research was initiated and supported by grant 275.75.005 from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) awarded to PE. ES's work was supported by a post-doctoral research grant from the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO) and KM's work was supported by PE's start-up research funds awarded by the University of Western Sydney. We thank Etske Ooijevaar and Irene ter Avest for help with data collection. We also thank three anonymous reviewers for helpful comments and suggestions.

Footnotes

References

Hide All
Adank, P., van Hout, & Van de Velde, H. (2007). An acoustic description of the vowels of northern and southern standard Dutch II: Regional varieties. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 121, 11301141.
Alderson, J. C., & Huhta, A. (2005). The development of a suite of computer-based diagnostic tests based on the Common European Framework. Language Testing, 22, 301320.
Best, C. T. (1995). A direct realist perspective on cross-language speech perception. In Strange (ed.), pp. 171–204.
Best, C. T., & Tyler, M. D. (2007). Nonnative and second-language speech perception: Commonalities and complementaries. In Bohn, O.-S. & Munro, M. J. (eds.), Language experience in second language speech learning: In honor of James Emil Flege, pp. 1334. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Broersma, M. (2005). Perception of familiar contrasts in unfamiliar positions. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 117, 3890–3901.
Broersma, M., & Cutler, A. (2008). Phantom word activation in L2. System: An International Journal of Educational Technology and Applied Linguistics, 36, 2234.
Chládková, K., Escudero, P., & Boersma, P. (2011). Context-specific acoustic differences between Peruvian and Iberian Spanish listeners. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 130, 416428.
Cutler, A., & Broersma, M. (2005). Phonetic precision in listening. In Hardcastle, W. J. & Mackenzie Beck, J. (eds.), A figure of speech: A Festschrift for John Laver, pp. 6391. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Cutler, A., Weber, A., & Otake, T. 2006. Asymmetric mapping from phonetic to lexical representations in second-language listening. Journal of Phonetics, 34, 269284.
Erdener, V. D., & Burnham, D. K. 2005. The role of audiovisual speech and orthographic information in nonnative speech production. Language Learning, 55, 191228.
Escudero, P. (2005). Linguistic perception and second language acquisition (LOT Dissertation Series 113). Utrecht: Utrecht University Press.
Escudero, P. (2009). Linguistic perception of “similar” L2 sounds. In Boersma, P. & Hamann, S. (eds.), Phonology in perception, pp. 151190. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
Escudero, P., Benders, T., & Lipski, S. (2009). Native, non-native and L2 perceptual cue weighting for Dutch vowels: The case of Dutch, German, and Spanish listeners. Journal of Phonetics, 37, 452466.
Escudero, P., & Boersma, P. (2004). Bridging the gap between L2 speech perception research and phonological theory. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 26, 551585.
Escudero, P., Broersma, M., & Simon, E. (2013). Learning words in a third language: Effects of vowel inventory and language proficiency. Language and Cognitive Processes, 28, 746761.
Escudero, P., Hayes-Harb, R., & Mitterer, H. (2008). Novel second-language words and asymmetric lexical access. Journal of Phonetics, 36, 345360.
Escudero, P., & Wanrooij, K. (2010). The effect of L1 orthography on non-native vowel perception. Language and Speech, 53, 343365.
Flege, J. E. (1995). Second-language speech learning: Theory, findings, and problems. In Strange (ed.), pp. 229–273.
Hayes-Harb, R., & Masuda, K. (2008). Development of the ability to lexically encode novel L2 phonemic contrasts. Second Language Research, 24, 533.
Hayes-Harb, R., Nicol, J., & Barker, J. (2010). Learning the phonological forms of new words: Effects of orthographic and auditory input. Language and Speech, 53, 367381.
Pallier, C., Colomé, A., & Sebastián-Gallés, N. (2001). The influence of native-language phonology on lexical access: Exemplar-based vs. abstract lexical entries. Psychological Science, 12, 445449.
Pattamadilok, C., Morais, J., Ventura, P., & Kolinsky, R. (2007). The locus of the orthographic consistency effect in auditory word recognition: Further evidence from French. Language and Cognitive Processes, 22, 700726.
Perre, L., Pattamadilok, C., Montant, M., & Ziegler, J. C. (2009). Orthographic effects in spoken language: On-line activation or phonological restructuring? Brain Research, 1275, 7380.
Perre, L., & Ziegler, J. C. (2008). On-line activation of orthography in spoken word recognition. Brain Research, 1188, 132138.
Shatzman, K. B., & McQueen, J. M. (2006). Prosodic knowledge affects the recognition of newly acquired words. Psychological Science, 17, 372377.
Strange, W. (ed.) (1995). Speech perception and linguistic experience: Issues in crosslanguage research. Timonium, MD: York Press.
Taft, M., Castles, A., Davis, C., Lazendic, G., & Nguyen-Hoan, M. (2008). Automatic activation of orthography in spoken word recognition: Pseudohomograph priming. Journal of Memory and Language, 58, 366379.
Ventura, P., Morais, J., Pattamadilok, C., & Kolinsky, R. (2004). The locus of the orthographic consistency effect in auditory word recognition. Language and Cognitive Processes, 19, 5795.
Weber, A., & Cutler, A. (2004). Lexical competition in non-native spoken-word recognition. Journal of Memory and Language, 50, 125.
Ziegler, J. C., & Ferrand, L. (1998). Orthography shapes the perception of speech: The consistency effect in auditory word recognition. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 5, 683689.
Ziegler, J. C., Ferrand, L., & Montant, M. (2004). Visual phonology: The effects of orthographic consistency on different auditory word recognition tasks. Memory & Cognition, 32, 732741.

Keywords

Learning words in a new language: Orthography doesn't always help*

  • PAOLA ESCUDERO (a1), ELLEN SIMON (a2) and KAREN E. MULAK (a1)

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.