Lexically guided perceptual learning in Mandarin Chinese
Burchfield, L. A., Luk, S.-.-H.-K., Antoniou, M., & Cutler, A.
Lexically guided perceptual learning in Mandarin Chinese. In Proceedings of Interspeech 2017
(pp. 576-580). doi:10.21437/Interspeech.2017-618.
Lexically guided perceptual learni
ng refers to the use of lexical
knowledge to retune sp
eech categories and thereby adapt to a
novel talker’s pronunciation. This adaptation has been
extensively documented, but primarily for segmental-based
learning in English and Dutch. In languages with lexical tone,
such as Mandarin Chinese, tonal categories can also be retuned
in this way, but segmental category retuning had not been
studied. We report two experiment
s in which Mandarin Chinese
listeners were exposed to an ambiguous mixture of [f] and [s] in
lexical contexts favoring an interpretation as either [f] or [s].
Listeners were subsequently more likely to identify sounds
along a continuum between [f] and [s], and to interpret minimal
word pairs, in a manner consistent with this exposure. Thus
lexically guided perceptual learning of segmental categories
had indeed taken place, consistent with suggestions that such
learning may be a universally available adaptation process