PhD in Human Development and Quantitative Methodology, College of Education, UMD
In general, my research area is the learning of sounds in bilingual adults and children. I am particularly interested in the cross-linguistic influence of prosody (e.g., stress, intonation, rhythm, etc.) in spoken word processing. Language learners may experience difficulty learning the sounds in a second language if the sound system in the L2 is fundamentally different from that in L1. For example, Mandarin Chinese is a tonal language in which pitch contour distinguishes meaning among lexical items. In contrast, English does not have lexical tone but has lexically contrastive stress. There are minimal pairs of words that only differ in stress location in English such as the noun-verb distinction of the word record. One of the research questions in my research program is how do the properties of tone in Chinese influence Mandarin L2 learners of English in stress perception and spoken word recognition? I?m also interested in how learners segment and comprehend continuous speech in L2.
Sunyoung Lee Ellis