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Quierro comprar una guitara: Lexical Encoding of the Tap and Trill by L2 Learners of Spanish
Danielle Daidone and Isabelle Darcy
39-50 (complete paper or proceedings contents)

Abstract

Research has shown that English-speaking learners of Spanish are highly accurate at discriminating the tap and trill in perception, but have difficulty correctly producing this distinction. The current study investigates whether this lack of differentiation by learners in production stems in part from a lack of differentiation between the tap and the trill in lexical representations. An auditory lexical decision task examined the nature of English-speaking learners' lexical representations of Spanish words containing the tap, trill, and /d/ in intervocalic position. The stimuli consisted of words containing the tap or the trill and nonwords created by exchanging the tap for the trill or vice versa; the same was done for the contrasts tap-/d/ and trill-/d/. Intermediate and advanced learners were tested, along with a control group of native Spanish speakers. An ABX task using nonwords containing the tap, trill, and /d/ was also administered which revealed that learners at all levels were able to discriminate the trill-/d/, tap-trill, and tap-/d/ contrasts. In the lexical decision task, intermediate and advanced learners were more accurate on the tap-/d/ contrast than the tap-trill contrast, as opposed to their higher accuracy with the tap-trill contrast in the ABX task. They accepted nonwords containing the incorrect rhotic as words, which suggests that although learners can discriminate the tap and trill, they have not accurately encoded this contrast in lexical representations. This study shows that discrimination ability does not directly predict how new L2 contrasts will be lexically encoded.

Published in

Selected Proceedings of the 2012 Second Language Research Forum: Building Bridges between Disciplines
edited by Ryan T. Miller, Katherine I. Martin, Chelsea M. Eddington, Ashlie Henery, Nausica Marcos Miguel, Alison M. Tseng, Alba Tuninetti, and Daniel Walter
Table of contents
Printed edition: $290.00