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Phondi: Dave Ogden: "Phonetic Context Effects in L2 Phonetic Category Discrimination"

Friday, February 20, 2015
12:00 AM
473 Lorch Hall

Phonetic Context Effects in L2 Phonetic Category Discrimination

Dave Ogden will present on his QRP research in today's meeting of Phondi. The title and abstract of his presentation are given below.

Phonetic Context Effects in L2 Phonetic Category Discrimination
The effects of experience on the perception of phonetic categories by second-language learners is well-documented (Flege, 1991; Flege, Bohn, & Jang, 1997; MacKay, Meador, & Flege, 2000). In this study, I examine whether effects of experience are explained by exemplar-based phonetic category representations (Goldinger, 1998; Johnson, 1997), which explain the effects of experience as the conspiracy of experienced tokens in shaping or reshaping categories. Native English-speaking advanced French-learners who had lived in France completed a phoneme monitoring task in which they listened to a sequence of French CV words and were asked to respond whenever they heard “the sound p.” Word-initially, the (unaspirated) phone [p] generally exemplifies the category /b/ in English but the category /p/ in French. French also includes vowels near to the English [i u e o] and front rounded vowels [y ø] that have no English counterparts. If learner’s representations of stop categories retain exemplars of experienced stops in context, those of stop consonants preceding [y ø] should fall in the pre-voicing [b] to short-lag [p] VOT continuum of French, while those of stop consonants preceding vowels [i u e o] will include tokens of both French and English categories (i.e., [b], [p], and [ph]). Such representations should lead to faster identification of the unaspirated [p] as an instance of the category /p/ before French-only vowels [y ø] than before vowels in both languages [i u e o]. Results support this prediction: identification of [p] as voiceless /p/ was significantly faster before French-only vowels.

Dave Ogden