ERIC Number: EJ792586
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jun
Reference Count: 0
Production Constraints on Learning Novel Onset Phonotactics
Redford, Melissa A.
Cognition, v107 n3 p785-816 Jun 2008
Three experiments addressed the hypothesis that production factors constrain phonotactic learning in adult English speakers, and that this constraint gives rise to a markedness effect on learning. In Experiment 1, an acoustic measure was used to assess consonant-consonant coarticulation in naturally produced nonwords, which were then used as stimuli in a phonotactic learning experiment. Results indicated that sonority-rising sequences were more coarticulated than -plateauing sequences, and that listeners learned novel-rising onsets more readily than novel-plateauing onsets. Experiments 2 and 3 addressed the specific questions of whether (1) the acoustic correlates of coarticulation or (2) the coarticulatory patterns of self-productions constrained learning. In Experiment 2, stimuli acoustics were altered to control for coarticulatory differences between sequence type, but a clear markedness effect was still observed. In Experiment 3, listeners' self-productions were gathered and used to predict their treatment of novel-rising and -plateauing sequences. Results were that listeners' coarticulatory patterns predicted their treatment of novel sequences. Overall, the findings suggest that the powerful effects of statistical learning are moderated by the perception-production loop in language.
Descriptors: Stimuli, Phonemes, Acoustics, English, Auditory Stimuli, Phonological Awareness, Articulation (Speech), Distinctive Features (Language)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
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