Learning direction matters: A study on L2 rhythm acquisition by Dutch learners of Spanish and Spanish learners of Dutch

Lieke van Maastricht, Emiel Krahmer, Marc Swerts, P. Prieto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study examines the acquisition process of speech rhythm in Dutch learners of Spanish (DLS) and Spanish learners of Dutch (SLD) at different proficiency levels to determine whether learning direction affects the success of rhythm acquisition in a foreign language (L2). Analyses of lengthening effects showed that the two learner groups followed different developmental paths in their acquisition of accentual and final lengthening: Both groups showed transfer effects from the L1, but while the DLS systematically approached their target until attainment, the SLD showed more variability in their development. In addition, syllable structure complexity affected L2 rhythm acquisition, and to a substantially larger extent for the SLD compared to the DLS. The results support a model of L2 rhythm acquisition in which learning direction is included as a factor, and that allows for the interaction of various language-specific properties that contribute to speech rhythm, like syllable structure complexity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-35
Number of pages35
JournalStudies in Second Language Acquisition
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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