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DOES HAVING GOOD ARTICULATORY SKILLS LEAD TO MORE FLUENT SPEECH IN FIRST AND SECOND LANGUAGES?

  • Nivja H. De Jong (a1) (a2) and Joan C. Mora (a3)

Abstract

Speaking fluently requires three main processes to run smoothly: conceptualization, formulation, and articulation. This study investigates to what extent fluency in spontaneous speech in both first (L1) and second (L2) languages can be explained by individual differences in articulatory skills. A group of L2 English learners (n = 51) performed three semispontaneous speaking tasks in their L1 Spanish and in their L2 English. In addition, participants performed articulatory skill tasks that measured the speed at which their articulatory speech plans could be initiated (delayed picture naming) and the rate and accuracy at which their articulatory gestures could be executed (diadochokinetic production). The results showed that fluency in spontaneous L2 speech can be predicted by L1 fluency, replicating earlier studies and showing that L2 fluency measures are, to a large degree, measures of personal speaking style. Articulatory skills were found to contribute modestly to explaining variance in both L1 and L2 fluency.

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Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Corresponding author

*Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Nivja H. De Jong, Leiden University Centre for Linguistics, Faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen, Leiden University, P.N. van Eyckhof 3, 2311 BV Leiden. E-mail: n.h.de.jong@hum.leidenuniv.nl

Footnotes

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We would like to thank Natalia Fullana for her contribution to data collection and analyses and the audiences at the Workshop on Individual Differences in Language Processing across the Adult Life Span (December 10–11, 2015, Centre for Language Studies, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen, The Netherlands) and the 25th Annual Conference of the European Second Language Association EUROSLA 25 (August 26–29, 2015, Aix-en-Provence, France) for useful comments and suggestions on preliminary versions of this work. This research is partly funded by AGAUR grant SGR137 from the Catalan government to the second author.

Footnotes

References

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DOES HAVING GOOD ARTICULATORY SKILLS LEAD TO MORE FLUENT SPEECH IN FIRST AND SECOND LANGUAGES?

  • Nivja H. De Jong (a1) (a2) and Joan C. Mora (a3)

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