The effect of Perceptual Salience on Processing L2 Inflectional Morphology

Hannelore Simoens, Alex Housen, Ludovic De Cuypere

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Citations (Scopus)


This study uses eye-tracking methodology to investigate salience in the context of implicit learning. Participants are native speakers of Dutch learning a semi-artificial language (Englishti). A lower salience suffix –u and a higher salience suffix –olp are investigated. The predictions are that learners are more likely to skip the lower salience suffix and to spend more time attending to the higher salience suffix; additionally, that learners will be more sensitive to the higher salience suffix and more aware of it. However, the authors predict that these results will only occur with implicit tasks, because explicit tasks encourage the use of top-down processing mechanisms that override bottom-up processes. Results support these predictions to a large extent.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSalience in Second Language Acquisition
EditorsSue Gass, Patti Spinner, Jennifer Behney
Place of PublicationAbingdon
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor & Francis Group
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9781315399010
ISBN (Print)9781138225671
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jul 2017


  • Second Language Acquisition (SLA)
  • Linguistics


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