Speaker: Valeria Peretokina

Valeria Peretokina is Lecturer in Linguistics at The School of Languages and Cultures, UQ. She earned her PhD in Psycholinguistics in December 2018 from The MARCS Institute for Brain, Behaviour and Development, Western Sydney University. In her doctoral research, Valeria looked at how second language (L2) perception of morphophonological units in meaningful connected speech is affected by the L2 listeners’ attunement to their native (L1) phonology and phonotactics and by their knowledge of L1 grammar. Currently, she is involved in a research project entitled “Conversational Australian English: Analysing speech acts in AusTalk map task”, which looks at how gender and conversation role influence the number, complexity, and function of turns in the map task dialogues. Her research interests include second language acquisition, speech perception and production, bilingualism, and sociolinguistics.


Title: On-line processing of L2 morphophonology by Mandarin learners of English

Acquisition of second language (L2) morphology offers insights into the attainability of L2 structures and differences between the grammatical processing mechanisms of L2 learners and native (L1) speakers. Adult L2 learners often fail to use L2 morphology in a target-like manner, demonstrating inconsistent production of L2 inflectional morphology and insensitivity to L2 morphological errors in comprehension. Learner difficulties are especially acute when the L2 morphological structures are not instantiated in L1 grammar and/or are encoded by phones or phone combinations that are phonologically or phonotactically illicit in the L1. While ample evidence is available on production and reading comprehension of L2 morphology, less is known about its perception in the spoken L2, and about the interface between morphological and phonological influences on L2 acquisition. The current phoneme monitoring study investigates perception of L2-English word-/syllable-final (coda) morphophonological structures, such as the regular plural marker <-s> realised as /s/ and /z/, by Mandarin Chinese listeners. Processing of L2-English morphophonology is analysed based on L1-L2 morphophonological congruency, phonotactic context, and utterance position of the target structures.

Results revealed that L2 processing of morphophonology was determined by L1 phonological rather than morphological influences. L2 listeners also demonstrated perceptual sensitivity to the distinction between polymorphemic versus monomorphemic targets. Lastly, L2 morphophonological processing approached native-likeness in utterance-final position. Overall, these findings suggest that L2 learners are able to form mental representations of L2 morphophonology, even when their L1 lacks counterpart morphological structures or has phonotactic restrictions that are violated in the L2. Thus, representational mismatch between L1 and L2 alone cannot account for the variable production and non-native-like reading comprehension of L2 morphophonology. Instead, it is the processing of L1-L2 incongruent information during time sensitive on-line tasks that is presumed to lead to inconsistent L2 performance.

Title: Dialogue Acts in the AusTalk map tasks

In this talk, I will report on the analysis of 12 map task dialogues from the AusTalk corpus, which were annotated for Dialogue Acts. Specifically, the annotation process, including the modifications to the SWBD-DAMSL coding scheme, is described. Then, the analyses of the number, complexity, and function of turns across conversation role (Information Giver, IG, or Follower, IF), gender, and gender dyad are presented. Significant differences were found depending on the gender and role of the speakers as well as on the gender dyad; however, no independent variable by itself provided a comprehensive account for the communicative pattern variation observed in the data. Overall, female speakers produced more turns and more complex turns than male speakers, with this being especially pronounced in female-female dyads. Furthermore, females did not conform to what might be expected from each conversation role. That is, female IGs produced more backward-function turns than male IGs. Currently, four additional map task dialogues are being annotated and analysed to contribute to the existing dataset.


About Linguistics Seminar Series

The Linguistics Seminars are an opportunity to hear from guest speakers, UQ staff and HDR students working in the field of Linguistics. If you are interested in presenting in our series, please contact Linguistics Discipline Coordinator Ilana Mushin

Seminars are generally held fortnightly during semester and are free to attend. UQ staff and students, staff and students from other universities, and members of the general public are welcome to attend. If you would like to be included on our mailing list, please contact the SLC Events team via email.


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