Volume 1, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2542-3835
  • E-ISSN: 2542-3843
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This study examined the use of lexical and sublexical cues in speech segmentation by Mandarin L2 learners of English, focusing on two types of lexical cue, lexical knowledge and semantic relatedness, and three coda (sublexical) cues, /n, s, ŋ/ due to their varying phonotactic probabilities in Mandarin and English. Thirty-five native English speakers and 30 L2 learners participated in two experiments. Experiment 1 showed that learners were able to use lexicality as a cue to segment L2 speech. The lexicality effect significantly interacted with L2 proficiency. Experiment 2 showed that learners did not use semantic cues to the same extent as native listeners did. All participants experienced more difficulty with word boundary identification preceded by /s/. This difficulty may stem from weak allophonic cues of /s/ in English. L2 learners with better proficiency may be better at recognizing familiar words from continuous speech, thus more efficiently utilizing the lexicality cue.


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