Learning to pronounce a written word implies assigning a stress pattern to that word. This task can present a challenge for speakers of languages like Italian, in which stress information must often be computed from distributional properties of the language, especially for individuals learning Italian as a second language (L2). Here, we aimed to characterize the processes underlying the development of stress assignment in native English and native Chinese speakers learning L2 Italian. Both types of bilinguals produced evidence supporting a role of vocabulary size in modulating the type of distributional information used in stress assignment, with an early bias for Italian’s dominant stress pattern being gradually replaced by use of associations between orthographic sequences and stress patterns in more advanced bilinguals. We also obtained some evidence for a transfer of stress assignment habits from the bilinguals’ native language to Italian, although only in English native speakers.

Learning to assign stress in a second language: The role of second-language vocabulary size and transfer from the native language in second language readers of Italian

Luciana Forti;
2020

Abstract

Learning to pronounce a written word implies assigning a stress pattern to that word. This task can present a challenge for speakers of languages like Italian, in which stress information must often be computed from distributional properties of the language, especially for individuals learning Italian as a second language (L2). Here, we aimed to characterize the processes underlying the development of stress assignment in native English and native Chinese speakers learning L2 Italian. Both types of bilinguals produced evidence supporting a role of vocabulary size in modulating the type of distributional information used in stress assignment, with an early bias for Italian’s dominant stress pattern being gradually replaced by use of associations between orthographic sequences and stress patterns in more advanced bilinguals. We also obtained some evidence for a transfer of stress assignment habits from the bilinguals’ native language to Italian, although only in English native speakers.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12071/18082
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