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Resolving word boundaries in spoken French: Native and non-native strategies

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 November 2008

Bernadette Dejean De La Batie*
Affiliation:
Monash University
Dianne C. Bradley
Affiliation:
Monash University
*
Bernadette Dejean de la Bâtie, Department of Romance Languages, Monash University, Victoria 3168, Australia

Abstract

The segmentation strategies used by native and non-native listeners of French were examined in two phoneme-monitoring experiments which required the subjects to detect the presence of word-initial /t/ in potential liaison phrases (e.g., excellent tableau/excellent acteur) and in non-liaison phrases (e.g., vrai tableau/vrai acteur). The essentially faultless performance of the natives suggested that the optimal segmentation routine in such phrases is primarily based on the identification of the critical word and, to a lesser extent, on the contextual information, which was more efficiently used to check the outcome of word recognition. In contrast, non-natives tended to rely on guessing strategies, not based on contextual information (contrary to the widely held language teaching recommendation), but on an incomplete acoustic–phonetic/lexical analysis of the signal.

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Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995

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References

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