Working Papers in Linguistics - 2004

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    Visual Word Recognition in Hawai‘i Creole English: Bidialectal Effects on Reading
    (University of Hawai'i at Mānoa Department of Linguistics, 2004-12-01) Inoue, Aya
    This paper reports on an experimental study investigating the visual word-recognition process in speakers of Hawai‘i Creole English (HCE). Its aim is to explore the effects of different orthographic and phonological systems as factors in visual word recognition by comparing the reaction patterns of 18 bidialectal English speakers from Hawai‘i to those of 18 monolingual/monodialectal English speakers from the Continental U.S. in naming stimuli words. The experiments consist of a naming task, a lexical decision task, and a memory test. HCE-orthography items as well as loanwords, nonwords, and Standard English (SE) control items were presented. For the HCE-orthography items, two different orthographies of HCE were tested—the phonology-based Odo orthography and an etymological orthography based on English spelling rules. The experimental results suggest an inhibitory effect of bidialectalism for the processing of unfamiliar visual forms: significantly longer reaction times for bidialectal speakers were observed for unfamiliar visual forms, although the two groups reacted very similarly to familiar visual forms. Bidialectal speakers arguably have more complex orthography-to-phonology mappings from the dual phonological systems (HCE, SE) they command. The results are consistent with the theoretical position that the bilingual language-processing system is nonselective in nature and that bilingual speakers activate stored knowledge from both languages in recognizing the targeted language (Dijkstra et al. 1999). I argue that the effect of language-nonselective activation is also observed in visual word recognition in bidialectal speakers. The implications of the results are discussed in the context of several fields, such as pidgin and creole linguistics, literacy and bidialectalism, and visual word recognition.
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    Collocations and Second Language Acquisition: the Acquisition of English Adjectival Constructions
    (University of Hawai'i at Mānoa Department of Linguistics, 2004-04-01) Miyakoshi, Tomoko
    In recent years, vocabulary has gained a more prominent status in the study of second language acquisition, prompted by various corpus studies and awareness of the role of lexical units in learning and communication. Although vocabulary is often dealt with only incidentally by language teachers, lexical knowledge is central to communicative competence and to the acquisition of a second language (Schmitt 2000). An experiment was conducted to examine the effect of text frequency in the acquisition of two grammatical collocations by Japanese learners of English: predicate adjectival constructions involving an expletive it plus either (1) a for + NP prepositional phrase followed by an infinitival clause; or (2) a that clause. It was found that, as compared with the performance of low-to-intermediate learners, advanced learners show a stronger sensitivity to text frequency in three tasks: Japanese-to-English translation, grammaticality judgments, and familiarity ratings. It was also concluded that L2 learners, especially low-to-intermediate learners, need to receive a greater variety of input in order to achieve native-like proficiency in such adjectival constructions. Results of this study support claims that L2 learners are poor in knowledge of formulaic sequences (Wray 2002). These results also suggest that a greater variety of input must be given to L2 learners and that the use of corpora can supplement L2 learning.