Schwa reduction in low-proficiency L2 speakers: Learning and generalization
Morano, L., Ernestus, M., & Ten Bosch, L.
Schwa reduction in low-proficiency L2 speakers: Learning and generalization. In Scottish consortium for ICPhS, M. Wolters, J. Livingstone, B. Beattie, R. Smith, M. MacMahon, J. Stuart-Smith, & J. Scobbie (Eds.
), Proceedings of the 18th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS 2015)
. Glasgow: University of Glasgow.
This paper investigated the learnability and
generalizability of French schwa alternation by
Dutch low-proficiency second language learners.
We trained 40 participants on 24 new schwa words
by exposing them equally often to the reduced and
full forms of these words. We then assessed
participants' accuracy and reaction times to these
newly learnt words as well as 24 previously
encountered schwa words with an auditory lexical
decision task. Our results show learning of the new
words in both forms. This suggests that lack of
exposure is probably the main cause of learners'
difficulties with reduced forms. Nevertheless, the
full forms were slightly better recognized than the
reduced ones, possibly due to phonetic and
phonological properties of the reduced forms. We
also observed no generalization to previously
encountered words, suggesting that our participants
stored both of the learnt word forms and did not
create a rule that applies to all schwa words.