Wordlikeness and Novel Word Learning

James Bartolotti, Viorica Marian

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Many adults struggle with second language acquisition, but learn new words in their native language relatively easily. Most second language words do not follow native language patterns, but those that do may be easier to learn because they make use of existing language knowledge. Twenty English monolinguals learned to recognize and produce 48 novel written words in five repeated testing blocks. Half of the words were wordlike (e.g., 'nish') in form (high neighborhood density, high orthotactic probability), while half were not (e.g., 'gofp'). Participants were more accurate at recognizing and producing wordlike compared to unwordlike items. In addition, participants were faster to respond correctly in wordlike trials. English vocabulary size predicted wordlike learning, while phonological memory predicted learning for both wordlike and unwordlike items. Results suggest that existing language knowledge affects acquisition of novel written vocabulary, with consequences for second language instruction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 36th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, CogSci 2014
PublisherThe Cognitive Science Society
Pages146-151
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9780991196708
StatePublished - 2014
Event36th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, CogSci 2014 - Quebec City, Canada
Duration: Jul 23 2014Jul 26 2014

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 36th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, CogSci 2014

Conference

Conference36th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, CogSci 2014
Country/TerritoryCanada
CityQuebec City
Period7/23/147/26/14

Keywords

  • Second language acquisition
  • neighborhood density
  • orthotactic probability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

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