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Lee, Yongeun. 2016. Phonological Patterns of English Stems and their Effects on Wordlikeness Judgment of English Derived Word Forms. English Language and Linguistics 22.3, 31-55. Previous studies have reported that even highly-advanced learners of English as a foreign language exhibit significant difficulties in properly acquiring English derivational morphology, as exemplified by the learners’ production of various illicit derivative forms such as *minimizement and *survivation (Schmitt & Zimmerman, 2002). The present study explores the possibility that non-native speakers’ difficulty involving forming well-formed derivative forms may in part lie in their lack of sufficient knowledge of the phonological generalizations of the stems to which English derivational suffixes are attached. To this end, this study first performed a lexicon study in an attempt to identify the exemplary phonological patterns of the stems to which a total of six English derivational suffixes are attached. Based on the lexicon study, the present study performed two wordlikeness judgment tasks, examining how the identified phonological generalizations from the lexicon study modulate acceptability judgments of English derived nonwords by native English speakers vs. highly-advanced Korean learners of English. Findings from the two acceptability studies suggest that the two language groups differ systematically in utilizing the exemplary phonological patterns of stems in their acceptability judgment of English derivative nonwords. This study concludes that the degree to which a Korean speaker masters the phonological patterns of the English stems with which English derivational suffixes combine may play a key role in facilitating the acquisition of English derivational morphology for Korean learners of English.

 

Key words: English derivational morphology, phonological abstraction, wordlikeness judgment, derivational suffix,, Korean learners of English

 

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