The induction of native listening
(2011). The induction of native listening
. Talk presented at NET-Symposium 2011. Utrecht, Netherlands. 2011-03-18.
Listening to speech is a process that differs across languages, because it is exquisitely tailored to the structure of the native language, and the structure itself differs across languages.
Languages effectively train their listeners to process them efficiently. The training begins from the earliest days of speech perception, in the first year of life. Even minor structural differences between closely related languages can, in due course, lead to significant processing differences by adult listeners.