Indiana University

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Events for the week :
January 13, 2013 - January 19, 2013
January 13
January 14
January 15
  • The effect of syllable structure constraints on second language perception and production

    Time: 04:00pm - 05:30pm 

    Place: Oak Room (Tree Suites, Indiana Memorial Union)


    Amanda Huensch (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign)

    The acquisition of native-like phonology appears to be one of the most difficult hurdles for late second language (L2) learners to overcome. A central question in the acquisition of L2 phonology relates to the relationship between speech perception and production and the potential benefits of high-variability phonetic training (i.e., training on multiple exemplars of words uttered by multiple speakers) on both. In this talk, I first report on work that explores the acquisition of final palatals (e.g., judge) and onset clusters (e.g., plight) by Korean-speaking L2 learners of English in order to gain a better understanding of the influence of speech perception on production in relation to syllable structure. Second, I discuss preliminary results of a study which uses a pretest/perceptual training/post-test experimental paradigm to investigate training conditions that enable L2 learners to develop sensitivity to sounds and sound structures not in their native language. Ultimately, I aim to show that syllable structure in the native language plays an important role in the perception of the target language and that training provides a promising means of improving sensitivity to sound structures not previously investigated.


    In category: Second language acquisition


January 16
January 17
January 18
  • Language and perceptual control

    Time: 01:30pm - 03:00pm 

    Place: Psychology 128 (Conference room)


    Beth Casserly

    Speech perception is a difficult problem; pervasive variability from co-articulation to sociolinguistic markers and everything in between causes signals to be highly relational and ambiguous, rather than symbolic and sequential. Language production is similarly complex: many parallel streams of information, from word order to prosodic affect to articulatory movements must be juggled and combined seamlessly into fluent, rapid speech. Yet the two processes are also inherently linked, with speakers simultaneously producing language and perceptually monitoring their own performance. This tight coupling between perception and production is typically robust and effective, but perturbations or manipulations of the feedback loop can shed critical light on the mechanisms underlying both processes. In this talk, I present research using a new methodology to examine the links between perception and production in speech: a portable, real-time vocoder that continuously degrades the acoustic information received by speakers. Under this real-time degradation of feedback, subjects show significant declines in fluency, producing speech that is slow and largely devoid of affect, with monotone delivery. These effects, I argue, stem from an increase in cognitive load caused by the difficulty of coping with the feedback perturbation. These results and others like them help us understand how language and other cognitive faculties intersect, and work together in real-world communication.


    In category: Phonetics and phonology


January 19

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