Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Applied Linguistics and English as a Second Language
Stephanie Lindemann - Committee Chair
Lucy Pickering - Committee Member
Nan Jiang - Committee Member
Sara Weigle - Committee Member
This dissertation research investigates the cognitive mechanisms underlying second language (L2) listening comprehension. I use three types of sentential contexts, congruent, neutral and incongruent, to look at how L2 learners construct meaning in spoken sentence comprehension. The three types of contexts differ in their context predictability. The last word in a congruent context is highly predictable (e.g., Children are more affected by the disease than adults), the last word in a neutral context is likely but not highly predictable (e.g., Children are more affected by the disease than nurses), and the last word in an incongruent context is impossible (e.g., Children are more affected by the disease than chairs). The study shows that, for both native speakers and L2 learners, a consistent context facilitates word recognition. In contrast, an inconsistent context inhibits native speakers’ word recognition but not that of L2 learners. I refer to this new discovery as the facilitation-without-inhibition phenomenon in L2 listening comprehension. Results from follow-up experiments show that this facilitation-without-inhibition phenomenon is a result of insufficient suppression by L2 learners.
Hu, Guiling, "Cognitive Mechanisms Underlying Second Language Listening Comprehension" (2009). Applied Linguistics and English as a Second Language Dissertations. Paper 11.