Understanding how lexical and morphological stress are encoded by French learners
Syrine Daoussi Diaz
(Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)
Friday (April 21st), 13:45-14:10
Lipsius 147

This PhD is a cross-disciplinary work where linguistics, psycholinguistics and neurolinguistics interact to bring possible help for teachers regarding L2 acquisition of Spanish for French learners. Indeed: we are moving through phonetics. 

Although French and Spanish may seem close as they belong to the Romance languages, their stress pattern is radically different as Spanish stress can fall on any syllable  (‘numero, nu’mero, nume’ro) while French stress is fixed and always falls at the end of the stressed group (Un chat. Un chat noir. Un gros chat noir.) French stress is demarcative, unlike Spanish stress which is distinctive at lexical and morphological level (i.e. ingles (groin) vs inglés (English), canto (I sing) vs cantó (he sang)). 

It is precisely the existence of these stress contrasts that made arise the hypothesis that French learners are “stress deaf”, as these contrast don’t exist in their mother tongue (Dupoux, Peperkamp, & Sebastián-Gallés, 2001; Dupoux, Sebastián-Gallés, Navarrete, & Peperkamp, 2008; a contrario Astésano, Bertrand, Espesser, & Nguyen, 2012; Muñoz, Panissal, Billières, & Baqué, 2009). We carried out a study to show in what extent this hypothesis was true (which it is, but not in all conditions).

In this presentation, I am going to introduce the protocol of my three experiments to discuss them later: 

  • the first one about lexical processing
  • the second one about morphological processing
  • the third one about event-related potentials in order to compare both values.