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Asymmetric Development of Perception and Production of Lexical Stress in Korean-Speaking Learners of English


Jeonghwa Shin (Korea University)


Shin, Jeonghwa. 2015. Asymmetric Development of Perception and Production of Lexical Stress in Korean-Speaking Learners of English. English Language and Linguistics 21.3, 187-206. The present study explores perceptual processing and production of English lexical stress in L2 English learners whose L1 employs a fixed rhythmic pattern at the lexical level. Twenty three native English speakers and 19 Korean-speaking learners of English were trained to learn 16 stress near-minimal pairs (/ʤákunaɪ/ vs. /ʤakúnə/) with picture referents. The acoustic analyses of productions revealed the L2 learners used fundamental frequency, loudness and durational cues to indicate alternative prominence of the first two syllables as did English L1 speakers. In the eye-tracking perception experiment, however, Korean L2 learners' identification of the target word was delayed until the disambiguating last syllable, whereas English L1 speakers exploited lexical stress information of the first two syllables to find the target word. The results indicate that production and perceptual processing of lexical stress in L2 word learning is developed asymmetrically.


Key words: lexical stress, L2 perception, L2 production, asymmetrical development

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