Second Language Acquisition at the Phonetic-Phonological Interface: A proposal

Ashima Aggarwal


This paper examines the acquisition of novel second language phonological contrasts by speakers of different languages. It explores the possibility of building a framework to test the adult acquisition of voicing and aspiration features of Hindi by speakers of Dimasa, Rabha, Tamil and English. It is noteworthy that Hindi has a four-way voicing contrast while Dimasa, Rabha and Tamil have two-way, three-way and one-way respectively. The paper presents an experiment designed to test the acquisition of non-native acquisition by these L1 speakers. The task designed to train these L1 speakers to perceive the new contrasts is an AX same or different task. Training will be followed by retention and generalizability test also. Evidence of significantly better perception post-training will suggest access to Universal Grammar beyond the Critical period.



Second language acquisition, Critical period, voicing contrast, Universal Grammar

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