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Linguistics Undergraduate Awarded Grant

The Linguistics department is excited to announce that Lauren Brocious was awarded a research grant! An explanation of her research project is summarized below. Congratulations Lauren!

L2 orthographic input and the three-way Korean consonant contrast


In the past decade or so, researchers have become interested in the role that orthographic input plays in adult second language acquisition, especially the acquisition of novel phonemes in a second language. Previous research has looked at how orthographic input that is familiar or similar to the learner’s L1 aids the learner in distinguishing novel phoneme contrasts in the L2. Little has been done, however, to look at how learners make use (or not) of an entirely new writing system in learning distinctions in novel phonemes of the L2. The goal of this research project is to see if learners can make use of an entirely unfamiliar writing system (Korean) to help them distinguish the three-way stop contrast in Korean in a systematic way. Participants will undergo two learning conditions in three phases (word-learning phase, criterion test phase, and final test phase). In each condition, participants will hear a recording of a Korean-like word, see a non-object picture and the written form of the auditory input. One condition will be given the correct Korean writing and its systematic differentiation of the consonants. The other condition, however, will receive a random assortment of Korean letters matched with Korean consonants. We expect that the condition with the orthographic input that maintains the systematicity of the Korean writing system will yield more accurate results in participant’s ability to distinguish the novel Korean phonemes.


Last Updated: 10/5/17