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ERIC Number: EJ839211
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jun
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0010-0277
Behavioral and Electrophysiological Evidence for the Impact of Regional Variation on Phoneme Perception
Brunelliere, Angele; Dufour, Sophie; Nguyen, Noel; Frauenfelder, Ulrich Hans
Cognition, v111 n3 p390-396 Jun 2009
This event-related potential (ERP) study examined the impact of phonological variation resulting from a vowel merger on phoneme perception. The perception of the /e/-/[epsilon]/ contrast which does not exist in Southern French-speaking regions, and which is in the process of merging in Northern French-speaking regions, was compared to the /[slashed o]/-/y/ contrast, which is stable in all French-speaking regions. French-speaking participants from Switzerland for whom the /e/-/[epsilon]/ contrast is preserved, but who are exposed to different regional variants, had to perform a same-different task. They first heard four phonemically identical but acoustically different syllables (e.g., /be/-/be/-/be/-/be/), and then heard the test syllable which was either phonemically identical to (/be/) or phonemically different from (/b[epsilon]/) the preceding context stimuli. The results showed that the unstable /e/-/[epsilon]/ contrast only induced a mismatch negativity (MMN), whereas the /[slashed o]/-/y/ contrast elicited both a MMN and electrophysiological differences on the P200. These findings were in line with the behavioral results in which responses were slower and more error-prone in the /e/-/[epsilon]/ deviant condition than in the /[slashed o]/-/y/ deviant condition. Together these findings suggest that the regional variability in the speech input to which listeners are exposed affects the perception of speech sounds in their own accent. (Contains 3 figures and 1 table.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Switzerland