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Adult language learning after minimal exposure to an unknown natural language

Gullberg, Marianne LU ; Roberts, Leah; Dimroth, Christine; Veroude, Kim and Indefrey, Peter (2010) In Language Learning 60(S2). p.5-24
Abstract
Despite the literatures on the role of input in adult second language (L2) acquisition, and on artificial and statistical language learning, surprisingly little is known about how adults break into a new language in the wild. This paper reports on a series of behavioral and neuroimaging studies that examine what linguistic information adults can extract from naturalistic but controlled audio-visual input in an unknown and typologically distant L2 after minimal exposure (7 - 14 minutes) without instruction or training. We tested the step-wise development of segmental, phonotactic and lexical knowledge in Dutch adults after minimal exposure to Mandarin Chinese, and the role of item frequency, speech-associated gestures, and word length at... (More)
Despite the literatures on the role of input in adult second language (L2) acquisition, and on artificial and statistical language learning, surprisingly little is known about how adults break into a new language in the wild. This paper reports on a series of behavioral and neuroimaging studies that examine what linguistic information adults can extract from naturalistic but controlled audio-visual input in an unknown and typologically distant L2 after minimal exposure (7 - 14 minutes) without instruction or training. We tested the step-wise development of segmental, phonotactic and lexical knowledge in Dutch adults after minimal exposure to Mandarin Chinese, and the role of item frequency, speech-associated gestures, and word length at the earliest stages of learning. In an exploratory neural connectivity study we further examined the neural correlates of word recognition in a new language, identifying brain regions whose connectivity was related to performance both before and after learning. While emphasizing the complexity of the learning task, the results suggest that the adult learning mechanism is more powerful than is normally assumed when faced with small amounts of complex, continuous audio-visual language input. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
word recognition, meaning-to-form, fMRI, L2 acquisition, input, phonotactics
in
Language Learning
volume
60
issue
S2
pages
5 - 24
publisher
Wiley-Blackwell
external identifiers
  • wos:000284324000003
  • scopus:78649414553
ISSN
0023-8333
DOI
10.1111/j.1467-9922.2010.00598.x
project
Cognition, Communication and Learning
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
4ffa0117-188d-4b96-9940-ebb3917c5e1e (old id 1592805)
date added to LUP
2010-04-23 09:28:40
date last changed
2017-07-02 04:35:35
@article{4ffa0117-188d-4b96-9940-ebb3917c5e1e,
  abstract     = {Despite the literatures on the role of input in adult second language (L2) acquisition, and on artificial and statistical language learning, surprisingly little is known about how adults break into a new language in the wild. This paper reports on a series of behavioral and neuroimaging studies that examine what linguistic information adults can extract from naturalistic but controlled audio-visual input in an unknown and typologically distant L2 after minimal exposure (7 - 14 minutes) without instruction or training. We tested the step-wise development of segmental, phonotactic and lexical knowledge in Dutch adults after minimal exposure to Mandarin Chinese, and the role of item frequency, speech-associated gestures, and word length at the earliest stages of learning. In an exploratory neural connectivity study we further examined the neural correlates of word recognition in a new language, identifying brain regions whose connectivity was related to performance both before and after learning. While emphasizing the complexity of the learning task, the results suggest that the adult learning mechanism is more powerful than is normally assumed when faced with small amounts of complex, continuous audio-visual language input.},
  author       = {Gullberg, Marianne and Roberts, Leah and Dimroth, Christine and Veroude, Kim and Indefrey, Peter},
  issn         = {0023-8333},
  keyword      = {word recognition,meaning-to-form,fMRI,L2 acquisition,input,phonotactics},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {S2},
  pages        = {5--24},
  publisher    = {Wiley-Blackwell},
  series       = {Language Learning},
  title        = {Adult language learning after minimal exposure to an unknown natural language},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9922.2010.00598.x},
  volume       = {60},
  year         = {2010},
}