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Abstract: Shehata

The lexical encoding of novel phonological features

Dr. Asmaa Shehata (Department of Linguistics, Languages and Cultures, University of Calgary)

Craigie Hall D419 at 12:00pm

Prior research indicates that adult second language (L2) learners encounter difficulty in distinguishing novel L2 contrasting sounds that are not contrastive in their native languages (Bradlow et al., 1997; Darcey et al., 2012; Ota et al., 2009; Weber & cutler, 2004). Several studies have, however, displayed that the presence of a spelled form while learning new L2 words can enhance L2 learners’ ability to perceive and lexically encode non-native phonemic contrasts (Escudero et al., 2014; Weber & Cutler, 2004). For example, Escurdero et al. (2008) showed that the availability of written forms helped native Dutch speakers to discriminate the English /ɛ/-/æ/ contrast. These studies have mainly considered a familiar written script (i.e., the Roman script); whereas the influence of an unfamiliar script on L2 phonological acquisition remains poorly understood. In this talk I synthesize previous findings that bear on controversies about the role of the written input, and present new data that support the utility of orthographic information in the acquisition of non-native phonological contrasts.