PIRE fellow Alex McAllister presents at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the Linguistics Society.
We explored how familiarity with reliable indicators of L1 dialect differences shapes what listeners learn from variation in similar sounds in the L2. To do this, Dutch-English bilinguals were presented with two artificial English dialects, created by manipulating two target vowels: /ɛ/, which exhibits regional variation in Dutch, and /ɪ/, which does not. Results of an auditory go/no-go task showed that listeners were more successful at learning to distinguish two dialects when trained on a vowel (/ɛ/) that varies systematically in the L1. Knowledge of L1 variation thus appears to shape adaptation to unfamiliar L2 variation.
Citation: McAllister, A., Carlson, M. T. & McQueen, J. M. (2019, January). Using knowledge of L1 dialects to adapt to phonetic variation in an L2. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America, New York, NY.