The effects of l1-l2 phonological mappings on l2 phonological sensitivity

Jeong Eun Kim, Yejin Cho, Youngsun Cho, Yeonjung Hong, Seohyun Kim, Hosung Nam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This study examines the effects of asymmetrical mappings of L2 sounds to L1 sounds on real-time processing of L2 phonology. L1-Korean participants completed a self-paced listening (SPL) task paired with a picture verification (PV) task, in which an English sentence was presented word by word along with a picture that matched or mismatched the sentence. In the critical region, an L2 vowel was deliberately replaced with the wrong vowel for two types of English vowel pairs: Type 1: English vowel pairs showing a one-to-one mapping to Korean counterparts (e.g., English: /i/ and /æ/ to Korean /i/ and /æ/, respectively); and Type 2: English vowel pairs showing a two-to-one mapping to a Korean counterpart (e.g., English /i/ and /ɪ/ to Korean /i/). We analyzed response times (RTs) and PV accuracy. Longer RTs were observed for Type 1 errors than Type 2 errors, indicating lower sensitivity to L2 vowels with two-to-one mapping to an L1 vowel. Also, PV accuracy was lower for the sentences containing Type 2 errors. These results suggest that asymmetrical L2-L1 sound mapping can affect learners' processing of L2 phonological knowledge, which in turn can negatively affect their comprehension.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1041-1076
Number of pages36
JournalStudies in Second Language Acquisition
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Dec

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Korea and the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF-2016S1A5A2A03926788). * Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Jeong-eun Kim, Department of English Language and Literature, Jeonbuk National University, 567 Baekje-daero, Deokjin-gu, Jeonju-si, Jeollabuk-do 54896, Republic of Korea. E-mail:; and Hosung Nam, Department of English Language and Literature, Korea University, 145 Anam-ro, Anamdong 5-ga, Sungbuk-gu, Seoul 02841, Republic of Korea, and Haskins Laboratories, Speech Production and Perception, 300 George Street #900, New Haven, CT 06511. E-mail:

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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