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Learning to Parse Second Language Consonant Clusters

  • John Archibald (a1)


In this article, a number of broad questions related to the acquisition of consonant clusters in a second language are investigated. Drawing on the structural relations and phonological principles of Government Phonology, it is argued that the behaviour of second language learners can be accounted for by a top-down, left-to-right phonological parser. Appealing to a model of cognitive architecture, it is demonstrated that one can account for the different behaviours of speakers of languages that share the trait of lacking tautosyllabic clusters (Korean and Finnish) when learning a language which allows such clusters (English). Properties of the LI segmental inventory and a licensing strength scale are proposed to explain why Finnish learners have less trouble than Korean learners when acquiring English clusters.


Cet article aborde certaines questions générales relatives à l’acquisition de groupes consonantiques en langue seconde. Sur la base des relations structurelles et des principes phonologiques de la théorie du gouvernement, il y est soutenu que le comportement des apprenants en langue seconde peut s’expliquer par l’entremise d’un analyseur phonologique opérant de haut en bas et de gauche à droite. En faisant appel à un modèle d’architecture cognitive, il est possible de rendre compte des comportements divergents d’apprenants ayant en commun l’absence de groupes tautosyllabiques dans leur langue maternelle (le coréen et le finnois) lors de l’apprentissage d’une langue qui possède de tels groupes (l’anglais). Les propriétés de l’inventaire segmentai de la Ll de même qu’une échelle de pouvoir de légitimation sont invoquées pour expliquer pourquoi les locuteurs du finnois ont moins de difficulté que les locuteurs du coréen à acquérir les groupes consonantiques de l’anglais.



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Learning to Parse Second Language Consonant Clusters

  • John Archibald (a1)


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