Speech Prosody 2012

Shanghai, China
May 22-25, 2012

The Role of Lexical Knowledge and Stress Cues in Segmentation in Second Language Learners of English

Candise Y. Lin, Min Wang

Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA

This study compared the use of lexical knowledge and stress cues in segmentation by Mandarin second language (L2) of English. Previous research has shown that native English speakers reliably use lexical cues but not stress cues. However, L2 learners may have difficulty using lexical knowledge in segmentation due to their limited vocabulary size. Instead, Mandarin L2 learners may rely on stress cues since Mandarin and English are similar in terms of their stress patterns. Using a cross-modal priming task, results showed that both the native listeners and L2 learners responded faster to initial-stressed target words than final-stressed target words, showing evidence to the use of stress cues in segmentation. No evidence of the use of lexical knowledge was found. It appears that there is cross-linguistic influence of the use of stress cues in segmentation by L2 learners.

Index Terms: stress, segmentation, second language learning, spoken word recognition, lexical knowledge

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Lin, Candise Y. / Wang, Min (2012): "The role of lexical knowledge and stress cues in segmentation in second language learners of English", In SP-2012, 334-337.