Essay on Language Processing

Essay on Language Processing

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Language processing is a complex interaction of a wide range of factors and one of the most difficult tasks involved in language processing is to do simultaneous interpreting in a foreign language. This study will describe an experiment in which the writer herself experienced the job of a simultaneous interpreter in order to gain insights into the language processing in L2 and to reflect on the difficulties in L2 processing encountered by the simultaneous interpreter.

Background of literature
Different models have been developed to explain the complexity of speech processing, of which Levelt’s speaking blueprint (1993) presented below has become ‘the most complete and accepted one for a monolingual speaker’ (De Bot, Lowie & Verspoor 2005).


Figure 4: Levelt's (1993) model of speech production

The first process is the preparation of concepts for speech, the retrieval of information relevant for communication, the linearization and the ‘propositional encoding’ of the information. The second process is ‘grammatical encoding’, the recall of words appropriate for the concepts, and the syntactic formation. The third process is ‘phonological encoding’, or the retrieval of phonological cues for each word, and the creation of a ‘phonetic plan’ for each word and the whole utterance. The last process is the ‘articulatory component’ which realizes the ‘phonetic plan’ into overt speech. Finally, through the speaker’s speech comprehension system, the speech is reflected upon.

Baddeley (2000) discussed the role of the ‘phonological loop’ in language learning and language processing. As stated by Baddeley (2000), ‘the phonological loop maintains acoustic or speech based information for a short time, thus making it available for c...


... middle of paper ...


.... Second language acquisition: An advanced resource book. London: Routledge.
De Bot, K. (2000). Attentional Mechanism and the Language Acquisition Device. In B. E. Dimitrova and K. Hyltenstam, (Eds.), Language processing and simultaneous interpreting : interdisciplinary perspectives (pp.25-40). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Levelt, W. J. M. (1993). The architecture of normal spoken language use. In G. Blanken et al. (Eds), Linguistic disorders and pathologies : an international handbook, pp.1-15. Berlin, New York: Walter de Gruyter.
Smith, M. S. (2000). Attentional Mechanism and the Language Acquisition Device. In B. E. Dimitrova and K. Hyltenstam, (Eds.), Language processing and simultaneous interpreting : interdisciplinary perspectives (pp.25-40). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Paradis, M. (2004). Neurolinguistic theory of bilingualism. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

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