Login | Register

Can Anglophone learners aurally distinguish between the passé composé and imparfait in French?

Title:

Can Anglophone learners aurally distinguish between the passé composé and imparfait in French?

Chung, Rhonda (2016) Can Anglophone learners aurally distinguish between the passé composé and imparfait in French? Masters thesis, Concordia University.

[img]
Preview
Text (application/pdf)
Chung_MA_S2016_.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Spectrum Terms of Access.
985kB

Abstract

Anglophone French learners’ problems acquiring the passé composé (PC; il a parl/e/) and imparfait (IMP; il parl/E/) are well-documented in SLA literature. Explanations range from inadequate pedagogical material to incongruencies in the tense/aspect/modality of both languages. However, can learners actually perceive the acoustic differences inherent in these two constructions? The largest verb group in French (-ER verbs) was targeted as it produces regular morphophonemic inflections (/e/ and /E/) when conjugated in the PC and IMP, respectively. However, this /e-E/ distinction has undergone phonological neutralization in certain French variants, resulting in greater production of /e/ over /E/, which may lead to inaccurate L2 perception and production.
A one-shot experiment comprised of four tasks tested whether Anglophone L2 French learners could distinguish between the /e-E/ contrast in: a transcription task of high frequency verbs, two phoneme discrimination tasks of minimal pairs in nonwords and in sentential contexts, and a grammaticality task evaluating lexical bias. All speech samples were judged by speakers of Quebecois French, where the /e-E/ distinction remains contrastive. Results revealed that participants: overwhelmingly transcribed /e/ with greater accuracy than /E/; perceived /e/ better than /E/ in the discrimination tasks for non-words; perceived the IMP where the PC was used (despite the auxiliary in the latter); and demonstrated an aspectual lexical bias in differentiating between the PC and IMP in the grammaticality task. These results suggest that French learners’ inability to aurally perceive the /e-E/ distinction inherent in the PC and IMP may further complicate past tense acquisition.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Education
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Chung, Rhonda
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Applied Linguistics
Date:April 2016
Thesis Supervisor(s):Cardoso, Walcir
Keywords:L2 perception, passé composé, imparfait, past tense acquisition, Anglophone FSL, Quebecois French, phonological neutralization, epsilon, /e-E/, French mid-vowels, loi de position, Aspect Hypothesis, tense and aspect.
ID Code:981066
Deposited By: RHONDA CHUNG
Deposited On:31 May 2016 19:33
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:52

References:

Alderete, J. (1995). Faithfulness to prosodic heads. Rutgers Optimality Archive, Report No. ROA-94.

Alderson, J.C., Clapham, C., Steel, D. (1997). Metalinguistic knowledge, language aptitude and
language proficiency. Language Teaching Research, 1, 93-121.

Altenberg, B., & Granger S. (2001). The grammatical and lexical patterning of make in native and non-native student writing. Applied Linguistics, 22(2), 173-194.

Andersen, R. Y. & Shirai, Y. (1994). Discourse motivations for some cognitive acquisition
principles. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 16,133-156.

Andrews, B. (1992). Aspect in past tenses in English and French. International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching, 30(4), 281-298.

Archibald, J. (1998). Second language phonology. Philadelphia, PA: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Baker, W. & Smith, L.C. (2010). The impact of L2 dialect on learning French vowels: Native English speakers learning Québécois and European French. The Canadian Modern Language Review, 66(5), 711-738.

Bardovi-Harlig, K. (2000). The Aspect Hypothesis. Language Learning, 50(1), 191–275.

Beckman, J. (1997). Positional faithfulness, positional neutralisation and shona vowel harmony. Phonology, 14(1), 1-46.

Bohn, O. (1995). Cross-language speech perception in adults: First language transfer doesn’t tell it all. In W. Strange (Ed.), Speech perception and linguistic experience: Theoretical and methodological issues (pp. 379-410). Timonium, MD: York Press.

Bouffard, L.A. & Sarkar, M. Training 8-year-old French immersion students in metalinguistic analysis: An innovation in form-focused pedagogy. Language Awareness, 17(1), 3-24.

Brissaud, C., Fisher, C., & Negro, I. (2012). The relation between spelling and pronunciation – The case of French and the phonological variation /e/ ~ /ɛ/ in different French dialects. Written Language & Literacy, 15(1), 46-64.

Bybee, J. (2001). Phonology and language use. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Celce-Murcia, M., Brinton, D.M. & Goodwin, J.M. (2010). Teaching pronunciation: A course book and reference guide (2nd ed.). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.


Celce-Murcia, M. & Larsen-Freeman, D. (1999). The grammar book. An ESL/EFL Teacher’s Course. Boston, MA: Heinle.

Chapelle, C. (2003). English language and technology. Philadelphia, PA: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Chapelle, C. A. (2009). A hidden curriculum in language textbooks: Are beginning learners of French at U.S. universities taught about Canada? Modern Language Journal, 93(2),
139-152.

Charliac, L. & Motron, A. (1998). Phonétique progressive du français. Paris: CLE International.

Chartrand, S., Aubin, D., Blain, R., & Simard, C. (1999). Grammaire pédagogique du français d’aujourd’hui. Boucherville: Graficor.

Chung, R. (2014). The effect of frequency of the input on Anglophone FSL learners’ acquisition of the passé composé and imparfait. Unpublished manuscript, Department of Education,
Concordia University, Montreal, Canada.

Comrie, B. (1976). Aspect. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Dansereau, D. (1987). A discussion of techniques used in the teaching of the passé composé/imparfait distinction in French. The French Review, 61(1), 33-38.

David, J., Guyon, O. & Brissaud, C. (2006). Apprendre à orthographier les verbes : le cas de l’homophonie des finales en /E/, Langue française, 151, 109-126.

De Almeida, R. & Manouilidou, C. (2015). Cognitive Science Perspectives on Verb Representation and Processing. New York: Springer.

Eckman, F.R. (1977). Markedness and the contrastive analysis hypothesis. Language Learning, 27, 315-30.

Ellis, N. C. (2002). Frequency effects in language processing: Review with implications for theories of implicit and explicit language acquisition. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 24, 143-188.

Ellis, N. C. (2006). Language Acquisition as Rational Contingency Learning. Applied Linguistics, 27(1), 1–24.

Favrod, A. & Morrison, L. (2009). Mise en pratique (5th ed). Toronto: Pearson-Longman.

Fernández, E.M. & Cairns, H. (2011). Fundamentals of psycholinguistics. Malden, MZ: Wiley-Blackwell.

Flege, J. M. (1987). The production of “new” and “similar” phones in a foreign language: Evidence for the effect of equivalence classification. Journal of Phonetics, 15, 47-65.

Flege, J. E. (1995). Second-language speech learning: Theory, findings, and problems. In W. Strange (Ed.), Speech perception and linguistic experience: Theoretical and methodological issues (pp. 229-273). Timonium, MD: York Press.

Foley, M. & Hall, D. (2003). Longman advanced learners’ grammar. Harlow: Longman.

Folli, R. & Harley, H. (2006). What language says about the psychology of events. TRENDS in Cognitive Sciences, 10(3), 91-92.

Gachelin, J.M. 1990. Is English a Romance language? English Today, 23, 8-14.

Goldman, J., Auchlin, A., Roekhaut, S., Simon, A.C. & Avanzi, M. (2010). Prominence perception and accent detection in French: A corpus-based account. Paper presented at Speech Prosody, Chicago, Illinois.

Goldschneider, J. M. & DeKeyser, R. M. (2001). Explaining the "natural order of L2 morpheme acquisition" in English: A meta-analysis of multiple determinants. Language Learning,
51(1), 1-50.

Granger, S. (1996). Romance words in English: from history to pedagogy. KVHAA Konforenser, 36, 105-121.

Gutiérrez, X. (2013). Metalinguistic knowledge, metalingual knowledge, and proficiency in L2 Spanish. Language Awareness, 22(2), 176-191.

Hammond, M. (2003). The phonology of English: A prosodic optimality-theoretic approach. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Harley, B. (1986). Age in second language acquisition. Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters.

Harley, B. (1989a). Functional grammar in French immersion: A classroom experiment. Applied Linguistics, 10(3), 331-359.

Harley, B. (1989b). Transfer in the written compositions of French immersion students. In H.W. Dechert & M. Raupach, M. Transfer in language production (pp. 3-19). Norwood, NJ: Abex Publishing Corporation

Harley, B. (1992). Patterns of second language development in French immersion. French Language Studies, 2, 159-183.

Harley, B. & King, M.L. (1989). Verb lexis in the written compositions of young L2 learners. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 11, 415-439.

Hardison, D.M. (2005). Second-language spoken word identification: Effects of perceptual training, visual cues, and phonetic environment. Applied Psycholinguistics, 26(4), 579-
596.

Hawkins, E. (1984). Awareness of language: An introduction. Great Britain: Cambridge University Press.

Howard, M. (2004). On the interactional effect of linguistic constraints on interlanguage variation: The case of past time marking. International Review of Applied Linguistics in
Language Teaching, 42(4), 319-334.

Izquierdo, J. & Collins, L. (2008). The facilitative role of L1 influence in tense-aspect marking: A comparison of Hispanophone and Anglophone learners of French. The Modern Language Journal, 92(3), 350-368.

John, P., & Cardoso, W. (in press, to appear in 2016). Medial coda and final stops in Brazilian Portuguese-English contact. In M. Yavas, W. Cardoso, and M. Kehoe-Winkler (Eds.), Bilingual Phonology: Romance in Contact with Germanic. Sheffield, UK: Equinox.

Kellerman, E. (1985). If at first you don’t succeed. In S. M. Gass & C. Madden (eds), Input in second language acquisition (pp.345-353). Rowley, MA: Newbury House.

Kennedy, K. & Trofimovich. P. (2010). Language awareness and second language pronunciation: A classroom study. Language Awareness, 19(3), 171-185.

Labov, W. (1966). The Social Stratification of English in New York City. Washington: Center for Applied Linguistics.

Lam, Y. (2009). Applying cognitive linguistics to teaching the Spanish prepositions por and para. Language Awareness, 18(1), 2-18.

Lam, J., Tjaden, K. & Wilding, G. (2012). Acoustics of clear speech: Effect of instruction. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 55, 1807-1821.

Landick, M. (1995). The mid-vowels in Figures: Hard facts. The French Review, 69(1), 88-102.

Laufer, B. (1990). Why are some words more difficult than others? Some intralexical factors that affect the learning of words. International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching, 28(4), 293-308.

Laufer, B. (1994). The lexical profile of second language writing: Does it change over time? Regional Language Centre Journal, 25(2), 21-33.

Laufer, B. & Nation, P. (1995). Vocabulary size and use: Lexical richness in L2 written production. Applied Linguistics, 16(3), 307-322.

Lebrun, M. (2007). Les tensions et débats dans l’enseignement du français au Québec. Le français aujourd'hui, 1(156), 87-93.

Lefebvre, A. (1988). Les voyelles moyennes dans le français de la radio et de la télévision. La Linguistique, (24)2, 75-91.

Léon, P. & Bhatt, P. (2005). Structure du français moderne: Introduction à l’analyse linguistique (3rd ed.). Toronto: Canadian Scholars Press Inc.

Lennon P. (1996). Getting 'easy' verbs wrong at the advanced level. International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching, 34(1), 23-36.

Li, P. & Shirai, Y. (2000). The acquisition of lexical and grammatical aspect. Berlin, Germany: Mouton de Gruyter.

Lightbown, P. (2000). Anniversary article classroom SLA research and second language teaching. Applied Linguistics, 21(4), 431-462.

Lightbown, P., & Spada, N. (2006). How languages are learned. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Lonsdale, D. & Le Bras, Y. (2009). A frequency dictionary of French. New York, NY: Routledge.

Malaia, E., Gonzalez-Castillo, J., Weber-Fox, C., Talavange, T.M., & Wilbur, R.B. (2015). Neural processing of verbal event structure: Temporal and functional disassociation between telic and atelic verbs. In de Almeida, R. & Manouilidou, C. Cognitive Science Perspectives on Verb Representation and Processing (pp.131-140). New York: Springer.

Morton, J. (1997). English grammar for students of French. Ann Arbor, MI: The Olivia and Hill Press.

Nation, I. S. P. (2013). Learning vocabulary in another language (2nd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Nishi, K. & Kewley-Port, D. (2007). Training Japanese listeners to perceive American Englishvowels: Influence of training sets. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 50, 1496-1509.

Nishi, K. & Kewley-Port, D. (2008). Nonnative speech perception training using vowel subsets: Effects of vowels in sets and order of training. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 51, 1480-1593.

O'Brien, M. G. & Smith, L. C. (2010). Impact of first language dialect on the production of second language German vowels. International Review of Applied Linguistics, 48(4), 297-330.
O’Grady, W. & Archibald, J. (2010). Contemporary linguistic analysis (7th ed.). Pearson Education Canada.

Okamoto, M. 2015. Is corpus word frequency a good yardstick for selecting words to teach? Threshold levels for vocabulary selection. System, 51, 1-10.

Ortega, L. (2009). Understanding second language acquisition. London: Hodder Education.

Ostiguy, L. & Tousignant, C. (2008). Les prononciations du français québécois: normes et usage (2nd ed). Montreal, Canada: Guérin universitaire.

Poisson-Quinton, S., Mimran, R. & Mahéo-Le Codiac, M. (2007). Grammaire expliquée du français. Paris, France: CLE International.

Price, G. (2002). An introduction to French pronunciation. Oxford, U.K.: Blackwell Publishing.

Pyles, T. & Algeo, P. (1982). The origins and development of the English language (3rd ed.). Harcourt New York: Brace Jovanovich.

Renou, J. (2001). An examination of the relationship between metalinguistic awareness and second-language proficiency of adult learners of French. Language Awareness, 10(4), 248-267.

Ringbom, H. (1998). Vocabulary frequencies in advanced learner English: A cross-linguistic approach. In S. Granger (Ed.,), Learner English on Computer (pp. 41-52). London: Longman.

Salien, J. (1998). Quebec French: Attitudes and pedagogical perspectives. The Modern Language Journal, 82(1), 95-102.

Santerre, L. (1976). Voyelle et consonnes du français québécois (p. 21-37). In Snyder, E. & Valdman, A. (Eds.), Identité culturelle et francophone dans les Amériques. Laval, Canada: Presses de l’Université de Laval.

Schmitt, N. (1998). Tracking the incremental acquisition of second language vocabulary: A longitudinal study. Language Learning, 48(2), 281-317.

Schmitt, N., & Zimmerman, C. (2002). Derivative word forms. What do learners know? TESOL Quarterly, 36(2), 145-171.

Skehan, P. (1998). A cognitive approach to language learning. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Terrell, T.D. (1986). Acquisition in the natural approach: The binding/access framework. Modern Language Journal, 70(3), 213-227.


Teschner, R.V. & Whitley, M.S. (2004). Pronouncing English: A stress-based approach. Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press.

Thomas, A. (2010). The influence of lexical aspect and input frequency in the L2 French of adult beginners. Nordic Journal of Linguistics, 33(2), 169–196.

Thomson, R. (2011). Computer assisted pronunciation training: Targeting second language vowel perception improves pronunciation. Computer Assisted Language Instruction Consortium Journal, 28(3), 744-765.

Thomson, R. (2012). Improving L2 listeners’ perception of English vowels: A computer-mediated approach. Language Learning, 62(4), 1231-1258.

Trescases, P. (1979). Une pédagogie de l’imparfait et du passé composé. Le Français dans le Monde, 148, 60-65.

Van Compernolle, R. A. & Pierozak, I. (1993). Teaching language variation in French through authentic chat discourse. In L. B. Abraham & L. Williams (Eds.). Electronic discourse in
language learning and language teaching, (pp. 200-250). Amsterdam, Netherlands: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Vandergrift, L. & Goh, C. (2012). Teaching and learning second language listening Metacognition in action. New York, NY: Routledge.

Verdugo, R. (2006). A Study of intonation awareness and learning in non-native speakers of English, Language Awareness, 15(3), 141-159.

Walker, D. C. (1984). The Pronunciation of Canadian French. Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press.

Walker, D. C. (2001). French sound structure. Calgary: University of Calgary Press.

Wang, X. & Munro, M.J. (2004). Computer-based training for learning English vowel contrasts. System, 32, 539-552.

Wulff, S., Ellis, W.C., Romer, U., Bardovi-Harlig, K. & Leblanc, C.J. (2009). The acquisition of tense-aspect: Converging evidence from corpora and telicity ratings. The Modern Language Journal, 93(3), 354-369.

Yavaş, M. (2011). Applied English phonology (2nd ed.). Chichester, England: Wiley-Blackwell.
All items in Spectrum are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved. The use of items is governed by Spectrum's terms of access.

Repository Staff Only: item control page

Downloads per month over past year

Research related to the current document (at the CORE website)
- Research related to the current document (at the CORE website)
Back to top Back to top