The current study investigated the potential facilitative or inhibiting effects of orthography on the lexical encoding of palatalized consonants in L2 Russian. We hypothesized that learners with stable knowledge of orthographic and metalinguistic representations of palatalized consonants would display more accurate lexical encoding of the plain/palatalized contrast. The participants of the study were 40 American learners of Russian. Ten Russian native speakers served as a control group. The materials of the study comprised 20 real words, familiar to the participants, with target coronal consonants alternating in word-final and intervocalic positions. The participants performed three tasks: written picture naming, metalinguistic, and auditory word-picture matching. Results showed that learners were not entirely familiar with the grapheme-phoneme correspondences in L2 Russian. Even though they spelled almost all of these familiar Russian words accurately, they were able to identify the plain/palatalized status of the target consonants in these words with about 80% accuracy on a metalinguistic task. The effect of orthography on the lexical encoding was found to be dependent on the syllable position of the target consonants. In intervocalic position, learners erroneously relied on vowels following the target consonants rather than the consonants themselves to encode words with plain/palatalized consonants. In word-final position, although learners possessed the orthographic and metalinguistic knowledge of the difference in the palatalization status of the target consonants-and hence had established some aspects of the lexical representations for the words-those representations appeared to lack in phonological granularity and detail, perhaps due to the lack of perceptual salience.
We investigated the influence of grapheme familiarity and native language grapheme-phoneme correspondences during second language lexical learning. Native English speakers learned Russian-like words via auditory presentations containing only familiar first language phones, pictured meanings, and exposure to either Cyrillic orthographic forms (Orthography condition) or the sequence (No Orthography condition). Orthography participants saw three types of written forms: familiar-congruent (e.g., -[kom]), familiar-incongruent (e.g., -[r?t]), and unfamiliar (e.g., -[fil]). At test, participants determined whether pictures and words matched according to what they saw during word learning. All participants performed near ceiling in all stimulus conditions, except for Orthography participants on words containing incongruent grapheme-phoneme correspondences. These results suggest that first language grapheme-phoneme correspondences can cause interference during second language phono-lexical acquisition. In addition, these results suggest that orthographic input effects are robust enough to interfere even when the input does not contain novel phones.
The international Kuopio Alzheimer Symposium was organized by the University of Eastern Finland in Kuopio, Finland on June 6-8, 2018 for the 8th time. Approximately 300 researchers in the fields of neuroscience and neurology from 12 different countries around the world gathered to Kuopio to hear and discuss about the latest insights into the mechanisms and comorbidities and novel approaches for diagnosis, prediction, prevention and therapies of Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative diseases. The 2-day international program on June 7-8 included a keynote session, five oral scientific sessions and a poster session. The international symposium was preceded by a 'Memory Day' on June 6, held in Finnish and targeted to Finnish healthcare professionals, including doctors, psychologists and nurses, who work daily with patients suffering from neurodegenerative diseases.