Asymmetric Efficiency of Juncture Perception in L1 and L2

Martin Ho Kwan Ip, Anne Cutler


In two experiments, Mandarin listeners resolved potential syntactic ambiguities in spoken utterances in (a) their native language (L1) and (b) English which they had learned as a second language (L2). A new disambiguation task was used, requiring speeded responses to select the correct meaning for structurally ambiguous sentences. Importantly, the ambiguities used in the study are identical in Mandarin and in English, and production data show that prosodic disambiguation of this type of ambiguity is also realised very similarly in the two languages. The perceptual results here showed however that listeners’ response patterns differed for L1 and L2, although there was a significant increase in similarity between the two response patterns with increasing exposure to the L2. Thus identical ambiguity and comparable disambiguation patterns in L1 and L2 do not lead to immediate application of the appropriate L1 listening strategy to L2; instead, it appears that such a strategy may have to be learned anew for the L2.


 DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2018-59

Cite as: Ip, M.H.K., Cutler, A. (2018) Asymmetric Efficiency of Juncture Perception in L1 and L2. Proc. 9th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2018, 289-293, DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2018-59.


@inproceedings{Ip2018,
  author={Martin Ho Kwan Ip and Anne Cutler},
  title={Asymmetric Efficiency of Juncture Perception in L1 and L2},
  year=2018,
  booktitle={Proc. 9th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2018},
  pages={289--293},
  doi={10.21437/SpeechProsody.2018-59},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/SpeechProsody.2018-59}
}