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Title:Language Competence and Information Processing Strategy: A Comparison of First and Second Language Word Recognition in Connected Speech
Author(s):Hayashi, Takuo
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Maclay, Howard S.
Department / Program:Education
Discipline:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:Ph.D.
Genre:Dissertation
Subject(s):Language, Linguistics
Abstract:The purpose of this study is to explore the difference in word recognition strategy between first language (L1) and second language (L2) listeners. On the basis of the weak-interactive view, the stage hypothesis, and the short-circuit theory, the researcher predicted L2 listeners use top-down strategy more than L1 listeners if access to higher-level information is not hindered by the competence-ceiling effect. The subjects consisted of two groups of non-native speakers of English with different proficiency and one group of native speakers of English. Experiment 1, which was designed after Miller and Isard's (1963) study, compared the use of syntactic and semantic information by error count under the weighted-noise condition which made the access to such information the most difficult of the three sets of experiments. Experiments 2.1 and 2.2, which were modeled after the study by Marslen-Wilson and Tyler (1980), also examined the use of syntactic and semantic information but in a condition where the availability of such information was greater than in Experiment 1. The data were analyzed by latency in both weighted (Experiment 2.1) and unweighted (Experiment 2.2) noise conditions to evaluate the effect of the availability of acoustic-phonetic information. Experiments 3.1 and 3.2 looked at the use of situational information following Cole and Jakimik (1978)'s study where the competence-ceiling effect was assumed to be the smallest. The data were analyzed by latency in both weighted (Experiment 3.1) and unweighted (Experiment 3.2) noise conditions. While previous studies in L2 reading and listening have repeatedly reported L2 subjects used less top-down strategy, this study suggested that L2 listeners use top-down strategy more than L1 listeners when access to higher-level information is not prevented by their limited linguistic competence. The study further suggested that word processing strategy is also a function of the availability of acoustic-phonetic information, supporting the weak-interactive view. This implied that it is important to encourage L2 listeners to use more top-down strategy. Pedagogical suggestions included integration of the relevant psycholinguistic findings into the grammar, adoption of comprehension approaches, and use of white noise in listening practice.
Issue Date:1987
Type:Text
Description:131 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1987.
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/69148
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8803061
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1987


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