Session Phonetic Psycholing. II:

Phonetic Psycholinguistics II: Perceptual contrasts

Type: oral
Chair: Niels Schiller
Date: Tuesday - August 07, 2007
Time: 13:20
Room: 4 (Green)


Phonetic Psycholing. II-1 Supervision hampers distributional learning of vowel contrasts
Margarita Gulian, University of Amsterdam
Paola Escudero, University of Amsterdam
Paul Boersma, University of Amsterdam
Paper File
  We investigate how supervision (in the form of explicit instruction) interacts with distributional learning in the acquisition of the perception of a novel vowel contrast in a second language. An experiment with non-Dutch-speaking Bulgarians reveals that listeners who receive bimodal distributional training without explicit instruction can acquire new Dutch vowel contrasts, and that listeners who receive the same training with explicit instruction do not acquire the new contrasts nearly as well. We conclude that explicit instruction hampers distributional learning.
Phonetic Psycholing. II-2 No lexically-driven perceptual adjustments of the [x]-[h] boundary
Michael A. Stevens, Ghent University
James M. McQueen, Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics
Robert J. Hartsuiker, Ghent University
Paper File
  Listeners can make perceptual adjustments to phoneme categories in response to a talker who consistently produces a specific phoneme ambiguously. We investigate here whether this type of perceptual learning is also used to adapt to regional accent differences. Listeners were exposed to words produced by a Flemish talker whose realization of [x] or [h] was ambiguous (producing [x] like [h] is a property of the West-Flanders regional accent). Before and after exposure they categorized a [x]-[h] continuum. For both Dutch and Flemish listeners there was no shift of the categorization boundary after exposure to ambiguous sounds in [x] or [h]-biasing contexts. The absence of a lexically-driven learning effect for this contrast may be because [h] is strongly influenced by coarticulation. As [h] is not stable across contexts, it may be futile to adapt its representation when new realizations are heard.
Phonetic Psycholing. II-3 Laryngeal Feature Structure in 1st and 2nd Language Speech Perception
Noah Silbert, Indiana University, Department of Linguistics, Department of Cognitive Science
Kenneth de Jong, Indiana University, Department of Linguistics, Department of Cognitive Science
Paper File
  This study reports an analysis of confusion data in Cutler, et al. [2] designed to probe interactions between distinctive features in English consonant identification by English and Dutch native listeners. While both listener groups exhibit extensive interaction between features, the Dutch listeners' interactions deviate systematically from the English listeners'. In the original analysis, coda voicing neutralization in Dutch was invoked to account for the lower identification accuracy and information transmission rates for coda voicing contrasts in Dutch listeners [2]. The present study augments these findings, analyzing consonant pair similarity measures, finding evidence for different laryngeal feature structure in both language groups in both onset and coda positions. This is not accounted for by a general neutralization rule.

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