Generalization of learning in pre-lexical adjustments to word-final devoicing [Abstract]
Eisner, F., Weber, A., & Melinger, A.
Generalization of learning in pre-lexical adjustments to word-final devoicing [Abstract]. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 128
Pre-lexical representations of speech sounds have been to shown to change dynamically through a mechanism of lexically driven learning. [Norris et al. (2003).] Here we investigated whether this type of learning occurs in native British English (BE) listeners for a word-final stop contrast which is commonly de-voiced in Dutch-accented English. Specifically, this study asked whether the change in pre-lexical representation also encodes information about the position of the critical sound within a word. After exposure to a native Dutch speaker's productions of de-voiced stops in word-final position (but not in any other positions), BE listeners showed evidence of perceptual learning in a subsequent cross-modal priming task, where auditory primes with voiceless final stops (e.g., [si:t], “seat”) facilitated recognition of visual targets with voiced final stops (e.g., “seed”). This learning generalized to test pairs where the critical contrast was in word-initial position, e.g., auditory primes such as [taun] (“town”), facilitated recognition of visual targets like “down”. Control listeners, who had not heard any stops by the speaker during exposure, showed no learning effects. The results suggest that under these exposure conditions, word position is not encoded in the pre-lexical adjustment to the accented phoneme contras
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