LSA,2005 - Predicting nonnative consonant discrimination...

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Predicting nonnative Predicting nonnative consonant consonant discrimination from discrimination from acoustic phonetic acoustic phonetic similarity metrics similarity metrics James D. Harnsberger Linguistic Society of America January 7, 2005
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2 Acknowledgments Acknowledgments Mark Skowronski Rahul Shrivastav NIH-NIDCD Grant R03-DC5735-2
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3 Introduction Introduction Topic of study: Variation in the perception of non-native speech sounds The perception of speech sounds that are found in a language unfamiliar to the listeners Prior linguistic experience appears to “override” the sensitivity of our peripheral auditory system Source of “foreign accent” in perception and production
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4 Introduction Introduction Traditional account of non- native speech perception: Listeners can only perceive and learn speech sounds that are identified with separate phonemes in their language Example Easy: Hindi /  V/ - /  V/ for English listeners (/ V/ - / V/)
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5 Common Examples Common Examples It is difficult for speakers of: to learn: because their language only has: English Hindi /  /-/ / / / Japanese English / /-/ / / / Spanish English / /-/ / / /
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6 Introduction Introduction Traditional account assumes: All non-native sounds that are identified with the same native phoneme are equally difficult to discriminate (“within-category” contrasts or assimilations). Studies in the 1990s demonstrated great variation in within-category discriminability
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7 Introduction Introduction Examples (% discrimination): Stimuli English Listeners Malayalam /  / / /, 59% / / Marathi /  / / /, 77% / / Oriya / / / /, 94% / /
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8 Purpose of study Purpose of study Question: Why are some within-category contrasts easier to discriminate (and learn) than others? Possible answers Internal structure of perceptual categories Phonetic similarity, defined either in articulatory or acoustic terms
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9 Psychoacoustic Psychoacoustic robustness robustness Definition: The gross psychophysical
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