Indiana University

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Events for the week :
January 27, 2013 - February 02, 2013
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February 01
  • Text Analysis Tools for Basic Exploration

    Time: 01:00pm - 03:00pm 

    Place: Wells Library Information Commons Cluster 1


    Markus Dickinson

    This workshop on basic text analysis will discuss getting a handle on patterns in text/corpus data by examining some freely-available tools on concordancing and word frequency counting, as well as making use of online search tools. These often form a platform for more complex analysis later on. If time permits, we may also discuss tools for textual annotation. The workshop will be run as a tutorial, so feel free to bring your own (plain) text data.


    In category: Computational linguistics


  • Phonological structure, non-native phoneme discrimination, working memory, and word learning

    Time: 01:30pm - 03:00pm 

    Place: PSY 128 (conference room)


    Noah H. Silbert

    It is well known that perception of non-native speech sounds is influenced by experience and the mapping between non-native and native phonological categories. However, very little is known about the relationships between phonological structure, individual differences in non-native phoneme discrimination ability, and non-native word learning. These relationships are important in the design of tests for personnel selection for second language training. Two experiments were conducted to probe (a) the generality of phoneme discrimination ability and (b) the role of phonological structure and discrimination ability in word learning. In one experiment, 169 participants completed an 'oddball' discrimination task with non-native contrasts from nine languages – three voicing/laryngeal contrasts, three place contrasts, and three tone/intonation contrasts. Confirmatory factor analysis model comparisons show that correlations between discrimination accuracies across contrasts are driven by low-level phonological structure (featural and segmental/super-segmental properties). In a second experiment, phonological working memory and voicing, place, and tone discrimination were measured for 167 participants and used to predict learning of pairs of non-native words differing in voicing, place, and tone. Consistent with the results from the first experiment, discrimination ability predicts accuracy in word learning above and beyond the ability of phonological working memory and according to feature-specific differences.


    In category: Second language acquisition


  • Exploring possible non-auditory influences on second language phonological acquisition

    Time: 02:30pm - 04:00pm 

    Place: Ballantine Hall 215


    Jeff Holliday

    In studying how second language (L2) learners acquire a particular L2 perceptual contrast, we typically begin our research with the observation that L2 learners have difficulty accurately perceiving the contrast. We might then take a look at how naïve listeners perceive the contrast, and then compare how novice and advanced L2 learners perceive the contrast. One assumption that underlies this methodology is the existence of some sort of perceptual continuity between naïve listeners and novice learners. That is, the starting point for L2 acquisition is the naïve listener: as L2 instruction begins, anything the naïve listener was already doing "right" should remain the same, and anything the naïve listener was doing "wrong" should eventually be corrected and gravitate towards a native benchmark. In other words, beginning to explicitly learn an L2 should not "mess things up". By looking at data from L1 Mandarin and L1 Japanese learners of L2 Korean, I would like to examine whether L1 Mandarin listeners' perception of Korean fricatives is constrained by metalinguistic knowledge acquired through learning to read. In this work-in-progress talk, I will give an overview of my dissertation findings, and then kick around my ideas for some experiments planned for this summer. Your feedback is most welcome.


    In category: Second language acquisition


February 02

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