Revisiting acquisition of L2 Japanese geminates by Cantonese learners: Evidence from intensity trajectories

An open seminar from the Department of Language and Linguistics, with Albert Lee

  • Thu 12 Nov 20

    12:00 - 13:00

  • Online


  • Event speaker

    Albert Lee

  • Event type

    Lectures, talks and seminars

  • Event organiser

    Language and Linguistics, Department of

  • Contact details

    Karen Roehr-Brackin

An open seminar from the Department of Language and Linguistics, with external speaker Albert Lee from the Education University of Hong Kong

In this talk we revisit Lee and Mok (2018) and examine whether the Cantonese learners of Japanese in the study could indeed correctly produce L2 Japanese short vs. long consonants.

Previously, we found that in terms of standard durational ratios, even the beginners appeared to be rather successful in distinguishing between L2 singleton and geminate sounds in their production. However, it was also possible that they were merely substituting real geminates with the coping strategy of an unreleased coda + homorganic initial consonant sequence. To this end, we analysed the mean intensity data of nonwords sassa, sesse, and sesso, to investigate whether the learners were producing a coda /t/ + initial /s/ sequence, presumably transferred from L1.

The results showed that the beginner group were indeed using this ‘cat-tail’ strategy, whereas the advanced learners and the native speakers were producing a genuine geminated /s/. We conclude that although derived geminates in L1 do not help beginners acquire L2 underlying geminates, it can be learned after enough exposure.

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