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    Using listener judgments to investigate linguistic influences on L2 comprehensibility and accentedness: a validation and generalization study

    Saito, Kazuya and Trofimovich, Pavel and Isaacs, T. (2017) Using listener judgments to investigate linguistic influences on L2 comprehensibility and accentedness: a validation and generalization study. Applied Linguistics 38 (4), pp. 439-462. ISSN 0142-6001.

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    Abstract

    The current study investigated linguistic influences on comprehensibility (ease of understanding) and accentedness (linguistic nativelikeness) in second language (L2) learners’ extemporaneous speech. Target materials included picture narratives from 40 native French speakers of English from different proficiency levels. The narratives were subsequently rated by 20 native speakers with or without linguistic and pedagogical experience for comprehensibility, accentedness, and 11 linguistic variables spanning the domains of phonology, lexis, grammar, and discourse structure. Results showed that comprehensibility was associated with several linguistic variables (vowel/consonant errors, word stress, fluency, lexis, grammar), whereas accentedness was chiefly linked to pronunciation (vowel/consonant errors, word stress). Native-speaking listeners thus appear to pay particular attention to pronunciation, rather than lexis and grammar, to evaluate nativelikeness but tend to consider various sources of linguistic information in L2 speech in judging comprehensibility. The use of listener ratings (perceptual measures) in evaluating linguistic aspects of learner speech and their implications for language assessment and pedagogy are discussed.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication following peer review.
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Comprehensibility, accent, second language speech, pronunciation, fluency, vocabulary, grammar, discourse
    School: Birkbeck Schools and Departments > School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > Applied Linguistics and Communication
    Depositing User: Kazuya Saito
    Date Deposited: 04 Nov 2015 14:57
    Last Modified: 30 Sep 2017 00:10
    URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/13316

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