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EFFECTS OF ACOUSTIC VARIABILITY ON SECOND LANGUAGE VOCABULARY LEARNING

  • Joe Barcroft (a1) and Mitchell S. Sommers (a1)
Abstract

This study examined the effects of acoustic variability on second language vocabulary learning. English native speakers learned new words in Spanish. Exposure frequency to the words was constant. Dependent measures were accuracy and latency of picture-to-Spanish and Spanish-to-English recall. Experiment 1 compared presentation formats of neutral (conversational) voice only, three voice types, and six voice types. No significant differences emerged. Experiment 2 compared presentation formats of one speaker, three speakers, and six speakers. Vocabulary learning was superior in the higher-variability conditions. Experiment 3 partially replicated Experiment 1 while rotating voice types across subjects in moderate and no-variability conditions. Vocabulary learning was superior in the higher variability conditions. These results are consistent with an exemplar-based theory of initial lexical learning and representation.Portions of these data were presented at the 143rd meeting of the Acoustical Society of America in Cancun, Mexico and at the Fourth International Conference on the Mental Lexicon in Windsor, Canada. The authors would like to thank Paola Rijos for help in data collection and scoring and the anonymous SSLA reviewers.

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Corresponding author
Joe Barcroft, Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, Campus Box 1077, One Brookings Drive, Washington University, St. Louis, MO 63130-4899; e-mail: barcroft@wustl.edu.
References
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Studies in Second Language Acquisition
  • ISSN: 0272-2631
  • EISSN: 1470-1545
  • URL: /core/journals/studies-in-second-language-acquisition
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