General programme, activity sheet

Wednesday 7 September, 2016 16:00 to 16:30 Oral presentation
L2 Spanish verb morphological development as explained by phonological neighborhood density
Speaker: Eva Rodriguez Gonzalez, University of New Mexico

Authors: Eva Rodríguez González


Research into lexical processes shows that phonological similarity (neighborhood density) affects processing and retrieval (Luce & Pisoni, 1998): in English words with dense neighborhoods are responded to more slowly and less accurately than words with sparse neighborhoods (Frauenfelder et al., 1993; Luce & Pisoni, 1998). Contrary to the competitive effect found in English, neighborhood density appears to have a facilitative effect on word perception and production in L1 Spanish (Vitevitch & Rodríguez, 2005). The question that arises, then, is whether learners will transfer their mechanisms of lexical processing and retrieval from their L1 (English) to their L2 (Spanish). The present study examined neighborhood density effects across L2 Spanish verbs (40 bisyllabic Spanish Preterite inflected forms). Neighborhood density was calculated via L2 subjective ratings and B-Pal phonological neighborhood counts (David & Perea, 2005). Controlling word length and manipulating frequency of occurrence, neighborhood density and verb type, a visual lexical decision task was given to 60 beginning, intermediate and advanced university-level learners of Spanish. Significant word frequency and neighborhood density effects related to speed and accuracy of responses were found. Results for beginning and intermediate learners were similar to what has been observed in English: high frequency words and words in sparse neighborhoods were perceived and produced more quickly and more accurately than low frequency words and words in dense neighborhoods. For the advanced learners, however, high frequency words and words in dense neighborhoods were perceived and produced more quickly and more accurately than low frequency words and words in sparse neighborhoods. The results indicate that there is a direct relationship between word frequency, neighborhood density and L2 lexical development in verbal paradigms. Differences of processing effects are characterized in terms of L1 transfer and show how transfer and morphological complexity interact in the data. References Albright, A. (2002). Islands of reliability for regular morphology: Evidence from Italian. Language, 78, 684-709. Bybee, J. (1988). Morphology as lexical organization. In M. Hammond, & M. Noonan (Eds). Theoretical morphology: Approaches in modern linguistics, 110-141. CA: Academic Press. Bybee, J. (1995). Regular morphology and the lexicon. Language and Cognitive Processes, 10, 425-55. Carreiras, M., Vergara, M. & Barber, H. (2005). Early event-related potential effects of syllabic processing during visual word recognition, Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 17, 1803–1817. Costa, A., & Sebastián-Gallés, N. (1998). Abstract syllabic structure in language production: Evidence from Spanish. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition, 24, 886-903. Frauenfelder, U., Baayen, R., Hellwig, F., & Schreuder, R. (1993). Neighborhood density and frequency across languages and modalities. Journal of Memory & Language, 32, 781-804. Goldinger, S., Luce, P., & Pisoni, D. (1989). Priming lexical neighbors of spoken words: Effects of competition and inhibition. Journal of Memory and Language, 28, 501-518. Goslin, J., Grainger, J. & Holcomb, P. (2007). Syllable frequency effects in French visual word recognition: An ERP study. Brain Research, 18, 1115 (1), 121-134. Luce, P., & Pisoni, D. (1998). Recognizing spoken words: The neighborhood activation model. Ear and Hearing, 19, 1-36. Rodríguez-González, E. (2012). Neighborhood density effects in the processing of Spanish Preterite. Journal of Spanish Psychology, 15 (1), 35-47. Sebastián Gallés, N., Martí Antonín, M., Carreiras Valiña, M., & Cuetos Vega, F. (2000). Lexesp. Léxico informatizado del español. CD-ROM. Edicions de la Universitat de Barcelona. Vitevitch, M. & Rodríguez, E. (2005). Neighborhood density effects in spoken word recognition in Spanish. Journal of Multilingual Communication Disorders, 3, 64-73.
Morphosyntactic development
Place: Room A-15

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