Constituents as acquisitional units of an unknown language



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Three groups of English monolingual subjects listened to 18 repetitions of a story into which Korean segments were gradually substituted for corresponding English segments. For the three groups, the segments substituted into the story were (a) words, (b) constituents, and (c) sentences. The acquisition of Korean was tested by 20 picture-sentence verification items in which the subject judged whether a Korean sentence was true or false in relation to a picture. The subjects had heard ten of the test sentences during the repetitions of the story (i.e., familiar sentences). They had not heard the other ten sentences (i.e., unfamiliar sentences) although the vocabulary was included in the story. All three groups responded nonrandomly to the familiar sentences. Only the group that heard Korean constituents substituted into the story responded nonrandomly to the unfamiliar sentences. It was concluded that presentation of a new language by constituents helped the learner deal with novel sentences in the new language better than presentation by words or by sentences.



Korean language--Study and teaching, Language and languages--Study and teaching