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Individual differences in the acquisition of second language phonology

Zatorre, Robert J.
Published in Brain and language. 2009, vol. 109, no. 2-3, p. 55-67
Abstract Perceptual training was employed to characterize individual differences in non-native speech sound learning. Fifty-nine adult English speakers were trained to distinguish the Hindi dental–retroflex contrast, as well as a tonal pitch contrast. Training resulted in overall group improvement in the ability to identify and to discriminate the phonetic and the tonal contrasts, but there were considerable individual differences in performance. A category boundary effect during the post-training discrimination of the Hindi but not of the tonal contrast suggests different learning mechanisms for these two stimulus types. Specifically, our results suggest that successful learning of the speech sounds involves the formation of a long-term memory category representation for the new speech sound.
Keywords Phonetic learningBehavioral plasticityLanguageIndividual differencesNon-nativeHindi dental–retroflex contrast
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Article (Published version) (703 Kb) - public document Free access
Research group Brain and Language Lab
Swiss National Science Foundation: 320030-122085
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GOLESTANI, Narly, ZATORRE, Robert J. Individual differences in the acquisition of second language phonology. In: Brain and language, 2009, vol. 109, n° 2-3, p. 55-67. doi: 10.1016/j.bandl.2008.01.005 https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:28655

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Deposited on : 2013-06-18

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