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Poznan Studies in Contemporary Linguistics

Editor-in-Chief: Dziubalska-Kolaczyk, Katarzyna

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L2 speech learning in adulthood and phonological short-term memory

Cristina Aliaga-García / Joan C. Mora / Eva Cerviño-Povedano
Published Online: 2011-04-08 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/psicl-2011-0002


The aim of the present study is to extend research on individual differences in cognitive ability and second language acquisition by exploring the relationship between PSTM and L2 speech learning in advanced EFL learners. The participants (N=60) were a subset of a larger group of Catalan-Spanish bilingual EFL learners participating in 10 60-minute high-variability phonetic training sessions on the perception of the 11 British English monophthongs. Perceptual accuracy was assessed at pre- and post-test through categorization and discrimination tasks based on 5 monophthongal vowels (/i: ɪ æ ʌ ɑ:/). PSTM capacity measures were obtained at post-test using a SNWR task consisting of CVC Catalan nonwords on the basis of which participants were assigned to either low or high PSTM capacity groups The high PSTM group was found to obtain higher accuracy scores and greater perceptual accuracy gains than the low PSTM group. These results suggest that PSTM may play a role in L2 speech learning and may be involved in learners’ ability to successfully form phonetic categories for L2 sounds.

Keywords: phonological short-term memory (PSTM); vowel perception; cue weighting; vowel duration

About the article

Received: 2010-09-30

Revised: 2010-11-24

Accepted: 2010-11-25

Published Online: 2011-04-08

Published in Print: 2011-03-01

Citation Information: Poznań Studies in Contemporary Linguistics PSiCL, Volume 47, Pages 1–, ISSN (Online) 1897-7499, ISSN (Print) 0137-2459, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/psicl-2011-0002.

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© School of English, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, Poland, 2011.

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