Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Environmental and language-driven phonological cues in bilingual language production
by Salkauski, Wallace J., Ph.D., The Florida State University, 2012, 133; 3539617
Abstract (Summary)

This study examines the role of the language cue on language selection in the Bilingual Language Production (BLP) Model, (Hermans, 2000; Poulisse & Bongaerts, 1994) and its relationship to the Language Mode (LM) model, (Grosjean, 1998). In order to examine the role of phonology in second language (L2) production, two groups of native English speakers, one less proficient and one more proficient in Spanish, were compared in a picture naming task and a translation task. In the first task, picture naming, participants named pictures in both English and Spanish while two phonological cues were presented auditorily. The cues were top-down (i.e. environmentally-driven) or bottom-up (language-driven). In the second task, participants translated from English to Spanish and from Spanish to English, also while environmental and language-driven auditory cues were presented. The environment-driven cue was designed to activate a language-specific environment (e.g. English or Spanish music played in the background. The bottom-up language-driven distractor was designed to activate the internal representation of a target item by using the item's onset and vowel (e.g. [wu] for women or [mu] for mujer),. Distractors were either related to the target item by language (e.g. hearing the Spanish sound [mu] when producing mujer), unrelated by language (e.g. hear the Spanish sound [mu] when producing woman), or neutral (e.g. hearing [du], an unrelated sound in Arabic when producing woman). The results showed that all learners, regardless of proficiency, were affected to some extent by both the internal and external phonological cues. However, the cue effects were context dependent, e.g. dependent on the language of production and proficiency. Specifically, facilitory effects were found when external and internal cues matched for language, but when cues were not matched there were observed inhibitory effects. Moreover, all participants were affected by the neutral distractor for both reaction time and accuracy, such that reaction times were increased and accuracy was reduced. I consider the implications of these results per the specific predictions of the BLP and LM, as well as their theoretical implications for future models of bilingual production.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Sunderman, Gretchen
Commitee: Gonzalez, Carolina, Kaschak, Michael, Leeser, Michael
School: The Florida State University
Department: Modern Languages
School Location: United States -- Florida
Source: DAI-A 74/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Linguistics
Keywords: Bilingualism, Phonology, Proficiency, Psycholinguistics, Spanish, Top-down
Publication Number: 3539617
ISBN: 978-1-267-64029-1
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