Presenter Information

Clara Hodges

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC Room 201

Start Date

15-5-2014

End Date

15-5-2014

Keywords

Second language acquisition, Phonology, Subset Principle, Markedness Differential Hypothesis

Abstract

This paper investigates the predictive powers of the Markedness Differential Hypothesis (MDH) and the Subset Principle (SP), two important hypotheses in second language acquisition. MDH examines the markedness values of different cross-linguistic forms and predicts that second language learners will acquire unmarked forms before acquiring marked forms, while SP predicts the opposite. To test these hypotheses, production of word-final voiced obstruent stops and fricatives by Indonesian learners of English was examined. Because previous studies of a phonological nature seem to point to the MDH as an explanation for directionality of difficulty, similar results were expected here. The findings suggest that MDH does more accurately predict the directionality of difficulty learners face than does SP when resetting their parameters. However, the picture is likely more nuanced, suggesting pathways for further research.

Faculty Mentor(s)

Li , Charles

Additional Mentoring Department

English

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May 15th, 10:20 AM May 15th, 10:40 AM

Bob or Bop? A Phonological Investigation into the Markedness Differential Hypothesis and the Subset Principle

SURC Room 201

This paper investigates the predictive powers of the Markedness Differential Hypothesis (MDH) and the Subset Principle (SP), two important hypotheses in second language acquisition. MDH examines the markedness values of different cross-linguistic forms and predicts that second language learners will acquire unmarked forms before acquiring marked forms, while SP predicts the opposite. To test these hypotheses, production of word-final voiced obstruent stops and fricatives by Indonesian learners of English was examined. Because previous studies of a phonological nature seem to point to the MDH as an explanation for directionality of difficulty, similar results were expected here. The findings suggest that MDH does more accurately predict the directionality of difficulty learners face than does SP when resetting their parameters. However, the picture is likely more nuanced, suggesting pathways for further research.