ESR10 : Phonetic alignment in a non-native language

PhD fellowship

A dual-EEG recording at the IIT Center for Translational Neurophysiology of Speech and Communication in Ferrara.

Objectives:

For adults, mastering the segmental and supra-segmental aspects of a second language (L2) is particularly challenging. Although we know that such a capability is partially maintained during adulthood, we do not know yet how to facilitate effective and long-lasting L2 learning. This project is based on the hypothesis that when people engage in meaningful social interactions, they automatically and implicitly align at multiple linguistic levels, including the phonetic one. ESR10 will tackle the fundamental scientific question of phonetic alignment in L2 and whether it drives long-lasting improvements in L2 skills. Key objectives are (i) to investigate the dynamics of alignment in L2 (English) and (ii) to quantify improvements when participants are engaged in a conversation with native speakers.}


Expected results:

  • Full description and validation of a set of game-like tools to quantify L2 segmental and suprasegmental alignment;
  • Exhaustive investigation about phonetic alignment in L2, its relation with L2 proficiency before training and long term retention of L2 improvements.

Based in Ferrara, Italy

Full-time three-year contract, starting September 2020

PhD enrolment at: University of Ferrara

Main supervisor’s institution: IIT, Ferrara

Main supervisor: Prof Alessandro D’Ausilio

Secondments:

  • IISAS, Bratislava: training on methods for analysing acoustic-prosodic alignment in dialogues (5 months);
  • DAVI, Puteaux: training on how to design effective game-like tools to explore alignment in L2 (5,5 months).

Co-supervisors’ institutions:

  • IISAS, Bratislava, Slovakia
  • DAVI, Puteaux, France


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