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Bookmark and Share Paper 2915

The Effects of L2 Proficiency on L3 Phonological Acquisition: A Preliminary Test of the L2 Proficiency Hypothesis
Alison Garcia
173-186 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


This paper reports the preliminary findings of the L2 Proficiency Hypothesis, which states that learners with a high L2 proficiency will produce more target-like pronunciations in the early sates of TLA compared to learners with low L2 proficiency. Ten L1 English, L2 Spanish, Portuguese learners participated. The pronunciation of word initial <r> and intervocalic <rr> was classified as being either L1-like, L2-like, L3-like, or none of the above. The results showed that those with the highest degree of proficiency in their L2 produce the most target-like pronunciations in the L3, whereas those with an intermediate L2 proficiency produce the least amount of target-like pronunciations. Those with low L2 proficiency took an intermediate place. However, other independent variables, such as the size of the participants' phonemic inventory, may have played a crucial role in these findings.

Published in

Selected Proceedings of the 2011 Second Language Research Forum: Converging Theory and Practice
edited by Erik Voss, Shu-Ju Diana Tai, and Zhi Li
Table of contents
Printed edition: $280.00