In Linguistic Perception and Second Language Acquisition, Paola Escudero provides a detailed description, explanation, and prediction of how optimal second language (L2) sound perception is acquired, and presents three empirical studies to test the model’s theoretical principles.
The author introduces the L2 Linguistic Perception (L2LP) model, a new formal and comprehensive proposal which integrates, synthesizes, and improves on previous studies, and therefore constitutes the most explanatorily adequate account of the whole process of L2 sound acquisition. More specifically, it proposes that the description of optimal L1 and L2 perception allows us to predict and explain the initial state, the learning task, and the end state that are involved in the acquisition process. It advances the hypothesis of Full Copying which constitutes a formal linguistic explanation for the prediction that learners will initially manifest an L2 perception that matches their optimal L1 perception. It also predicts that the degree of mismatch between perception grammars will define the number and nature of the learning tasks. With respect to L2 development, it posits that learners will either need to create new perceptual mappings and categories, or else adjust any existing mappings through the same learning mechanisms that operate in L1 acquisition. Finally, the model’s hypotheses of separate perception grammars and language activation predict that learners will achieve optimal L2 perception while preserving their optimal L1 perception.
This book addresses questions of speech perception, phonetics, phonology, psycholinguistics, and language acquisition, and should therefore be of interest to researchers working in any of these areas.
Explaining the attainment of optimal phonological categorization