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Intonation and Prosodic Structure

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Academic Paper


Title: Variability in the learning of complex morphophonology
Author: Marc Ettlinger
Email: click here TO access email
Homepage: http://socrates.berkeley.edu/~marce
Institution: Northwestern University
Author: Ann Rosalie Bradlow
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: Northwestern University
Author: Patrick C. M. Wong
Institution: Chinese University of Hong Kong
Linguistic Field: Applied Linguistics; Morphology; Phonology
Abstract: This paper explores how theories on the relationship between language and domain-general cognitive capabilities might account for individual variation in second language learning. We investigated the acquisition of a morphophonological grammar paired with standardized tests of memory function. The language learned had simple and complex morphophonological patterns of word formation, which are hypothesized to correlate with standardized measures of procedural and declarative memory, respectively. The results show a significant amount of variation in learning success is accounted for by these measures of memory in accordance with the hypothesis. These findings help explain why some adults are able to learn a second language more easily than others while also advancing a model of second language learning motivated by linguistic theory.

CUP AT LINGUIST

This article appears IN Applied Psycholinguistics Vol. 35, Issue 4.

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