Joan C. Mora : Inhibitory control in L2 phonological processing

Joan C. Mora (Universitat de Barcelona)

Inhibitory control in L2 phonological processing

Recent research shows that after long-term immersion L2 learners with better inhibitory control are more successful at avoiding L2 effects when speaking the L1 [1]. This talk will discuss recent research on the role of inhibitory control in L2 phonological development for instructed L2 learners with limited L2 experience living in an L1 monolingual environment and will explore the contribution of life-long bilingualism to inhibitory control and L3 phonological processing. We assessed inhibitory control through a retrieval-induced inhibition task [2] in monolingual (L1-Spanish and L1-English) and early bilingual (Spanish-Catalan) L2 learners and tested their L2 phonology through a speeded ABX categorization task (perception) and a delayed sentence repetition task (production). These data provide support for the role of inhibitory control in developing more accurate L2 phonological representations in monolingual (but not in bilingual) L2 learners. The findings underscore the interaction between cognitive skills and learning context and are discussed from an individual differences perspective.


[1] Lev-Ari, S., & Peperkamp, S. (2013). Low inhibitory skill leads to non-native perception and production in bilinguals’ native language. Journal of Phonetics, 41, 320-331.

[2] Veling, H. & van Knippenberg, A. (2004) Remembering can cause inhibition: Retrieval-induced inhibition as cue independent process. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition 30, 2, 315-318.