The dynamics of lexical activation and competition in bilinguals’ first versus second language
Bruggeman, L., & Cutler, A.
The dynamics of lexical activation and competition in bilinguals’ first versus second language. In S. Calhoun, P. Escudero, M. Tabain, & P. Warren (Eds.
), Proceedings of the 19th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS 20195)
(pp. 1342-1346). Canberra, Australia: Australasian Speech Science and Technology Association Inc.
Speech input causes listeners to activate multiple
candidate words which then compete with one
another. These include onset competitors, that share a
beginning (bumper, butter), but also, counterintuitively,
rhyme competitors, sharing an ending
(bumper, jumper). In L1, competition is typically
stronger for onset than for rhyme. In L2, onset
competition has been attested but rhyme competition
has heretofore remained largely unexamined. We
assessed L1 (Dutch) and L2 (English) word
recognition by the same late-bilingual individuals. In
each language, eye gaze was recorded as listeners
heard sentences and viewed sets of drawings: three
unrelated, one depicting an onset or rhyme competitor
of a word in the input. Activation patterns revealed
substantial onset competition but no significant
rhyme competition in either L1 or L2. Rhyme
competition may thus be a “luxury” feature of
maximally efficient listening, to be abandoned when
resources are scarcer, as in listening by late
bilinguals, in either language.