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Now you hear it, now you don’t: L1 and L2 perception of regular past –ed in naturalistic input


Now you hear it, now you don’t: L1 and L2 perception of regular past –ed in naturalistic input

Strachan, Lauren (2016) Now you hear it, now you don’t: L1 and L2 perception of regular past –ed in naturalistic input. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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A growing body of literature shows that the simple past is difficult to perceive (Bell et al., 2015; Klein et al., 2003; Solt et al., 2003), yet all perception studies to date have used experimentally-manipulated input, and none have investigated the impact of contextual cues beyond temporal adverbials on perception of the regular past, nor whether second language (L2) exposure and use are related to more accurate perception. This study investigated whether L2 learners and native (L1) speakers of English perceive regular past –ed in naturalistic input, whether phonological context (easy allomorph [əd] or hard allomorphs [t, d]) impacts perception, and whether language exposure and use are related to increased confidence or perceptual accuracy. Eleven L1 speakers and 28 L2 learners (14 intermediate and 14 advanced) watched 64 clips from television sitcoms (32 with utterances in simple past and 32 with utterances in simple present), indicated whether they heard –ed or no ending, and rated their confidence on an 8-point Likert scale. Results indicated no difference between learner groups in present versus past perceptual accuracy, but significant difference in perception of simple past. L1 speakers perceived the present versus past more accurately than both learner groups, but advanced learners showed no difference from L1 speakers in perception of past. Confidence ratings increased with proficiency, and advanced learners showed higher confidence in their ability to perceive past over present. All groups perceived the perceptually easy allomorph [əd] more accurately and with higher confidence than the two perceptually hard allomorphs [t, d]. A relationship was revealed between L2 learners’ perception accuracy, age of onset, and amount of time studying English. Increased confidence was related to length of time studying English. Only self-reported listening proficiency was associated with accurate perception in perceptually hard contexts. Exploratory debriefing interviews revealed that context cues were often used to interpret tense by advanced learners and L1 speakers. Findings are interpreted within emergentist views of language acquisition and discussed in light of implicit learning ability. Pedagogical implications are considered.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Education
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Strachan, Lauren
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Applied Linguistics
Date:31 August 2016
Thesis Supervisor(s):Trofimovich, Pavel
ID Code:981715
Deposited By: Lauren Elizabeth Strachan
Deposited On:04 Nov 2016 19:27
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:53
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