I was born and grew up in a small French town called Alma (Quebec, Canada), two and a half hours north of Quebec City. At the age of 19, I moved to Ottawa (Ontario, Canada) to learn English and pursue undergraduate and graduate studies at the University of Ottawa. In 2003, I moved to Honolulu (Hawai'i, USA) to pursue a PhD in Second Language Acquisition at the University of Hawai'i. In 2007, I began working as Assistant Professor in the Department of French at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Since August 2012, I have been working in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Kansas. I received tenure and was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor in August 2015.
I am the fifth of my father's six children and the first of my mother's three children. My parents, five of my six siblings, and many of my aunts, uncles, and cousins live in Alma. I also have family in Chicoutimi, Quebec City, Joliette, Montreal, Ottawa, York (Ontario), and Sydney (Australia)--among other places. I am married and have a son.
In my free time, besides doing activities with my family, I cycle, garden, do home renovations, learn to play the piano, and watch Netflix.
Among the most important values to me are honesty, respect, and loyalty. I have a positive approach to life. I have a thirst for knowledge, and know that a lifetime will not be long enough to learn all I want to learn.
Research in second/foreign language (L2) psycholinguistics examines the degree to which L2 learners use the same mechanisms as native speakers in online language processing, providing a fine-grained measure of the possibilities and limitations of L2 acquisition. A large amount of work in this area has focused on sentence-level processing. However, before language can be processed at the sentence level, it must be processed at the word level. This can be particularly challenging in the auditory modality, in that speech is a continuous flow of sounds where word boundaries are not reliably marked by any single cue. L2 listeners must be able to segment the language input into words before they can form grammatical representations of the sentences they hear. L2 speech segmentation is thus a crucial domain to investigate. My main research program aims to provide new insights on how adult L2 learners segment the continuous speech signal into words and how different types of information in the signal constrain L2 lexical access. In addition to this main research line, I am interested in how adult L2 learners use stress in word recognition and how they process morphologically complex words. My research focuses on adult L2 learners at different L2 proficiencies who were exposed to the L2 later on in life (i.e., after the age of 9). Given my interest in L2 development, I have also done research on proficiency assessment in L2 research.
Native listeners use various cues to locate words in speech, including distributional cues (probability of occurrence of sounds in word-initial and word-final positions), acoustic cues (e.g., duration of sounds in word-initial and word-final positions), and prosodic cues (prominence on syllables in word-initial and/or word-final position(s)). For speech segmentation to succeed, L2 learners must use the cues that are efficient for locating words boundaries in the L2. This task is non-trivial insofar as languages differ in the cues that signal word boundaries and in the relative importance of these cues.
My main research program aims to provide new insights on how adult L2 learners use distributional, acoustic, and prosodic cues to word boundaries, and how specific linguistic factors influence their learning of these cues. In addition to this research line, I have cultivated secondary research interests in the use of lexical stress (prominence on a particular syllable in the word) in L2 word recognition, the use of grammatical information (e.g., past tense –ed) in L2 word recognition and L2 sentence processing, and the assessment of L2 proficiency. My research focuses on adult L2 learners at different L2 proficiencies who were exposed to the L2 after the age of 9.
Tremblay, A., Broersma, M., & Coughlin, C. E. (in press). The functional weight of a prosodic cue in the native language predicts speech segmentation in a second language. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition.
Qin, Z., Chien, Y.-F., & Tremblay, A. (2017). Processing of word-level stress by Mandarin-Speaking second-language learners of English. Applied Psycholinguistics, 38, 541-570.
Tremblay, A., & Coughlin, C. E. (2017). Cue-weighting mechanism and bilingualism. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 20, 708-709.
Tremblay, A., Namjoshi, J., Spinelli, E., Broersma, M., Cho, T., Kim, S., Martínez-García, M. T., & Connell, K. (2017). Experience with a second language affects the use of fundamental frequency in speech segmentation. PLoS One, 12, e0181709.
Gaillard, S., & Tremblay, A. (2016). Oral proficiency assessment in second language acquisition research: The Elicited Imitation Task. Language Learning, 66, 419-447.
Reichle, R., Tremblay, A., & Coughlin, C.E. (2016). Working memory capacity in L2 processing. Probus, 28, 29-55.
Tremblay, A. (2016). Linguistic convergence/divergence or degree of bilingualism? Journal of French Language Studies, 26, 167-170.
Tremblay, A., Broersma, M., Coughlin, C. E., & Choi, J. (2016). Effects of native language on the use of fundamental frequency in non-native speech segmentation. Frontiers in Psychology, 7: Phonology in the Bilingual and Bidialectal Lexicon.
Coughlin, C. E., & Tremblay, A. (2015). Morphological decomposition in native and non-native French speakers. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 18, 524-542.
Felker, E., Tremblay, A., & Golato, P. (2015). Traitement de l’accord dans la parole continue chez les apprenants anglophones tardifs du français. Arborescences, 5, 28–62.
Huensch, A., & Tremblay, A. (2015). Effects of perceptual phonetic training on the perception and production of second language syllable structure. Journal of Phonetics, 52, 105-120.
Kim, E., Baek, S., & Tremblay, A. (2015). The role of island constraints in second language sentence processing. Language Acquisition, 22, 384-426.
Tremblay, A., & Spinelli, E. (2014). English listeners' use of distributional and acoustic-phonetic cues to liaison in French: Evidence from eye movements. Language and Speech, 57, 310–337.
Coughlin, C. E., & Tremblay, A. (2013). Proficiency and working-memory-based explanations for non-native speakers' sensitivity to agreement in sentence processing. Applied Psycholinguistics, 34, 615-646.
Tremblay, A., & Spinelli, E. (2013). Segmenting liaison-initial words: The role of predictive dependencies. Language and Cognitive Processes, 28, 1093-1113.
Trude, A., Tremblay, A., & Brown-Schmidt, S. (2013). Limitations on adaptation to foreign accents. Journal of Memory and Language, 69, 349-367.
Kandel, S., Spinelli, E., Tremblay, A., Guerassimovitch, H., & Alvarez, C. (2012). Processing prefixes and suffixes in handwriting production. Acta Psychologica, 140, 187-195.
Tremblay, A., Coughlin, C. E., Bahler, C., & Gaillard, S. (2012). Differential contributions of prosodic cues in the native and non-native segmentation of French speech. Laboratory Phonology, 3, 385-423.
Tremblay, A. (2011a). Proficiency assessment standards in second language acquisition research: “Clozing” the gap. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 33, 339-372.
Tremblay, A. (2011b). Learning to parse liaison-initial words: An eye-tracking study. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 14, 257-279.
Tremblay, A., & Owens, N. (2010). The role of acoustic cues in the development of (non-)target-like L2 prosodic representations. Canadian Journal of Linguistics, 55, 85-114.
Tremblay, A. (2009). Phonetic variability and the variable perception of L2 word stress by French Canadian listeners. International Journal of Bilingualism, 13, 35-62.
Demuth, K., & Tremblay, A. (2008). Prosodically conditioned variability in children's production of French determiners. Journal of Child Language, 35, 99-127.
1541 Lilac Lane
Blake Hall, Room 427
Lawrence, KS 60045-3129
Phone: (785) 864-5979
Fax: (785) 864-5724
Email: atrembla at ku dot edu