You are here: Home Publications Phonological representations in children’s native and non-native lexicon

Phonological representations in children’s native and non-native lexicon

Simon, E., Sjerps, M. J., & Fikkert, P. (2014). Phonological representations in children’s native and non-native lexicon. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 17(1), 3-21. doi:10.1017/S1366728912000764.
This study investigated the phonological representations of vowels in children's native and non-native lexicons. Two experiments were mispronunciation tasks (i.e., a vowel in words was substituted by another vowel from the same language). These were carried out by Dutch-speaking 9–12-year-old children and Dutch-speaking adults, in their native (Experiment 1, Dutch) and non-native (Experiment 2, English) language. A third experiment tested vowel discrimination. In Dutch, both children and adults could accurately detect mispronunciations. In English, adults, and especially children, detected substitutions of native vowels (i.e., vowels that are present in the Dutch inventory) by non-native vowels more easily than changes in the opposite direction. Experiment 3 revealed that children could accurately discriminate most of the vowels. The results indicate that children's L1 categories strongly influenced their perception of English words. However, the data also reveal a hint of the development of L2 phoneme categories.

Supplementary materials

About MPI

This is the MPI

The Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics is an institute of the German Max Planck Society. Our mission is to undertake basic research into the psychological,social and biological foundations of language. The goal is to understand how our minds and brains process language, how language interacts with other aspects of mind, and how we can learn languages of quite different types.

The institute is situated on the campus of the Radboud University. We participate in the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, and have particularly close ties to that institute's Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging. We also participate in the Centre for Language Studies. A joint graduate school, the IMPRS in Language Sciences, links the Donders Institute, the CLS and the MPI.

 

Street address
Wundtlaan 1
6525 XD Nijmegen
The Netherlands


Mailing address
P.O. Box 310
6500 AH Nijmegen
The Netherlands

Phone:   +31-24-3521911
Fax:        +31-24-3521213
E-mail:   


Public Outreach Officer
Charlotte Horn