We studied the initial acquisition and overnight consolidation of new spoken words that resemble words in the native language (L1) or in an unfamiliar, non-native language (L2). Spanish-speaking participants learned the spoken forms of novel words in their native language (Spanish) or in a different language (Hungarian), which were paired with pictures of familiar or unfamiliar objects, or no picture. We thereby assessed, in a factorial way, the impact of existing knowledge (schema) on word learning by manipulating both semantic (familiar vs. unfamiliar objects) and phonological (L1- vs. L2-like novel words) familiarity. Participants were trained and tested with a 12-hour intervening period that included overnight sleep or daytime awake. Our results showed; i) benefits of sleep to recognition memory that were greater for words with L2-like phonology; ii) that learned associations with familiar but not unfamiliar pictures enhanced recognition memory for novel words. Implications for complementary systems accounts of word learning are discussed.
Bibliographical noteCopyright: Taylor & Francis
Funding: Spanish Government (PSI2011-29219, awarded to ARF) and a predoctoral position awarded to VH.
- word learning
- L1 L2