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    Lexical correlates of comprehensibility versus accentedness in second language speech

    Saito, Kazuya and Webb, S. and Trofimovich, P. and Isaacs, T. (2016) Lexical correlates of comprehensibility versus accentedness in second language speech. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition 19 (3), pp. 597-609. ISSN 1366-7289.

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    The current project investigated the extent to which several lexical aspects of second language (L2) speech – appropriateness, fluency, variation, sophistication, abstractness, sense relations – interact to influence native speakers’ judgements of comprehensibility (ease of understanding) and accentedness (linguistic nativelikeness). Extemporaneous speech elicited from 40 French speakers of English with varied L2 proficiency levels was first evaluated by 10 native-speaking raters for comprehensibility and accentedness. Subsequently, the dataset was transcribed and analyzed for 12 lexical factors. Various lexical properties of L2 speech were found to be associated with L2 comprehensibility, and especially lexical accuracy (lemma appropriateness) and complexity (polysemy), indicating that these lexical variables are associated with successful L2 communication. In contrast, native speakers’ accent judgements seemed to be linked to surface-level details of lexical content (abstractness) and form (variation, morphological accuracy) rather than to its conceptual and contextual details (e.g., lemma appropriateness, polysemy).


    Item Type: Article
    School: School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > Applied Linguistics and Communication
    Depositing User: Kazuya Saito
    Date Deposited: 05 Nov 2015 11:54
    Last Modified: 12 Feb 2021 05:58


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