Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

Linguistics Vanguard

A Multimodal Journal for the Language Sciences

Editor-in-Chief: Bergs, Alexander / Cohn, Abigail C. / Good, Jeff

1 Issue per year

Online
ISSN
2199-174X
See all formats and pricing
More options …

Individual differences in second language speech perception across tasks and contrasts: The case of English vowel contrasts by Korean learners

Donghyun Kim / Meghan Clayards
  • Department of Linguistics, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  • Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Heather Goad
Published Online: 2017-08-01 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/lingvan-2016-0025

Abstract:

The present study examines whether individual differences in second language (L2) learners’ perceptual cue weighting strategies reflect systematic abilities. We tested whether cue weights indicate proficiency in perception using a naturalistic discrimination task as well as whether cue weights are related across contrasts for individual learners. Twenty-four native Korean learners of English completed a two-alternative forced choice identification task on /ɪ/-/i/ and /ɛ/-/æ/ contrasts varying orthogonally in formant frequency and duration to determine their perceptual cue weights. They also completed a two-talker AX discrimination task on natural productions of the same vowels. In the cue-weighting task, we found that individual L2 learners varied greatly in the extent to which they relied on particular phonetic cues. However, individual learners’ perceptual weighting strategies were consistent across contrasts. We also found that more native-like performance on this task – reliance on spectral differences over duration – was related to better recognition of naturally produced vowels in the discrimination task. Therefore, the present study confirms earlier reports that learners vary in the extent to which they rely on particular phonetic cues. Additionally, our results demonstrate that these individual differences reflect systematic cue use across contrasts as well as the ability to discriminate naturally produced stimuli.

Keywords: L2 speech perception; individual differences; identification task; discrimination task; vowel contrasts

References

  • Aoyama, Katsura, James E. Flege, Susan Guion-Anderson, Reiko R. Akahane-Yamada & Tsuneo Yamada. 2004. Perceived phonetic dissimilarity and L2 speech learning: The case of Japanese /r/ and English /l/ and /r/. Journal of Phonetics 32(2). 233–250.Google Scholar

  • Boersma, Paul & David Weenink. 2013. Praat: Doing phonetics by computer. Version 5.3.55.Google Scholar

  • Chandrasekaran, Bharath, Padma D. Sampath & Patrick C. M. Wong 2010. Individual variability in cue-weighting and lexical tone learning. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 128(1). 456–465.Google Scholar

  • Coleman, John. 2003. Discovering the acoustic correlates of phonological contrasts. Journal of Phonetics 31(3-4). 351–372.Google Scholar

  • Dorman, Michael F., Michael Studdert-Kennedy & Lawrence J. Raphael. 1977. Stop-consonant recognition: Release bursts and formant transitions as functionally equivalent, context-dependent cues. Perception & Psychophysics 22(2). 109–122.Google Scholar

  • Escudero, Paola. 2000. Developmental patterns in the adult L2 acquisition of new contrasts: The acoustic cue weighting in the perception of Scottish tense/lax vowels by Spanish speakers. Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh MA thesis.Google Scholar

  • Escudero, Paola. 2005. Linguistic perception and second language acquisition: Explaining the attainment of optimal phonological categorization. Utrecht: Utrecht University dissertation.Google Scholar

  • Escudero, Paola, Titia Benders & Silvia Lipski. 2009. Native, non-native and L2 perceptual cue weighting for Dutch vowels: The case of Dutch, German, and Spanish listeners. Journal of Phonetics 37(4). 452–465.Google Scholar

  • Escudero, Paola, Titia Benders & Karin Wanrooij. 2011. Enhanced bimodal distributions facilitate the learning of second language vowels. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 130(4). EL206–EL212.Google Scholar

  • Flege, James E., Ocke-Schwen Bohn & Sunyoung Jang. 1997. Effects of experience on non-native speakers’ production and perception of English vowels. Journal of Phonetics 25(4). 437–470.Google Scholar

  • Francis, Alexander L., Natalya Kaganovich & Courtney Driscoll-Huber. 2008. Cue-specific effects of categorization training on the relative weighting of acoustic cues to consonant voicing in English. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 124(2). 1234–1251.Google Scholar

  • Hattori, Kota & Paul Iverson. 2009. English /r/-/l/ category assimilation by Japanese adults: Individual differences and the link to identification accuracy. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 125(1). 469–479.Google Scholar

  • Hillenbrand, James M., Michael J. Clark & Robert A. Houde. 2000. Some effects of duration on vowel recognition. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 108(6). 3013–3022.Google Scholar

  • Holt, L. Lori & Andrew J. Lotto. 2006. Cue weighting in auditory categorization: Implications for first and second language acquisition. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 119(5). 3059–3071.Google Scholar

  • Idemaru, Kaori, Lori L. Holt & Howard Seltman. 2012. Individual differences in cue weights are stable across time: The case of Japanese stop lengths. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 132(6). 3950–3964.Google Scholar

  • Iverson, Paul, Valerie Hazan & Kerry Bannister. 2005. Phonetic training with acoustic cue manipulations: A comparison of methods for teaching English /r/-/l/ to Japanese adults. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 118(5). 3267–3278.Google Scholar

  • Iverson, Paul, Patricia K. Kuhl, Reiko Akahane-Yamada, Eugen Diesch, Yoh’ich Tohkura, Andreas Kettermann & Claudia Siebert. 2003. A perceptual interference account of acquisition difficulties for non-native phonemes. Cognition 87(1). B47–B57.Google Scholar

  • Kawahara, Hideki, Toru Takahashi, Masanori Morise & Hideki Banno. 2009. Development of exploratory research tools based on TANDEM-STRAIGHT. Proceedings of Asia-Pacific Signal and Information Processing Association, 2009 Annual Summit and Conference. 111–120.Google Scholar

  • Kondaurova, Maria V. & Alexander L. Francis. 2008. The relationship between native allophonic experienc nse/lax vowel contrast by Spanish and Russian listeners. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 124(6). 3959–3971.Google Scholar

  • Kondaurova, Maria V. & Alexander L. Francis. 2010. The role of selective attention in the acquisition of English tense and lax vowels by native Spanish listeners comparison of three training methods. Journal of Phonetics 38(4). 569–587.Google Scholar

  • Kong, Eun Jong & Jan R. Edwards. 2011. Individual differences in speech perception: Evidence from visual analogue scaling and eye-tracking. Proceedings of the 17th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, Hong Kong: 1126–1129.Google Scholar

  • Kong, Eun Jong & Jan R. Edwards. 2015. Individual differences in L2 learners’ perceptual cue weighting patterns. Proceedings of the 18th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, Glasgow, UK.Google Scholar

  • Labov, William, Sharon Ash & Charles Boberg. 2006. The atlas of North American English: Phonetics, phonology and sound change. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.Google Scholar

  • Lengeris, Angelos & Valerie Hazan. 2010. The effect of native vowel processing ability and frequency discrimination acuity on the phonetic training of English vowels for native speakers of Greek. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 128(6). 3757–3768.Google Scholar

  • Lisker, Leigh. 1986. “Voicing” in English: A catalogue of acoustic features signaling /b/ versus /p/ in trochees. Language and Speech 29(1). 3–11.Google Scholar

  • Liu, Ran & Lori L. Holt. 2015. Dimension-based statistical learning of vowels. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance 41(6). 1783–1798.Google Scholar

  • Llanos, Fernando, Olga Dmitrieva, Amanda A. Shultz & Alexander L. Francis. 2013. Auditory enhancement and second language experience in Spanish and English weighting of secondary voicing cues. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 134(3). 2213–2224.Google Scholar

  • Macmillan, Neil A. & C. Douglas Creelman. 2005. Detection theory: A user’s guide, 2nd ed. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar

  • Morrison, Geoffrey S. 2005. An appropriate metric for cue weighting in L2 speech perception: Response to Escudero and Boersma (2004). Studies in Second Language Acquisition 27(4). 597–606.Google Scholar

  • Morrison, Geoffrey S. 2008. L1-Spanish speakers’ acquisition of the English /i/-/ɪ/ contrast: Duration-based perception is not the initial developmental stage. Language and Speech 51(4). 285–315.Google Scholar

  • Morrison, Geoffrey S. & Maria V. Kondaurova. 2009. Analysis of categorical response data: Use logistic regression rather than endpoint-difference scores or discriminant analysis (L). Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 126(5). 2159–2162.Google Scholar

  • Nittrouer, Susan & Marnie E. Miller. 1997. Predicting developmental shifts in perceptual weighting schemes. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 101(4). 2253–2266.Google Scholar

  • Perrachione, Tyler K., Ji-Yeon Lee, Louisa Y. Y. Ha & Patrick C. M. Wong. 2011. Learning a novel phonological contrast depends on interactions between individual differences and training paradigm design. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 130(1). 461–472.Google Scholar

  • Piske, Thorsten T., Ian R. A. MacKay & James E. Flege. 2001. Factors affecting degree of foreign accent in an L2: A review. Journal of Phonetics 29(2). 191–215.Google Scholar

  • R Development Core Team. 2008. R: A language and environment for statistical computing http://www.R-project.org/.Google Scholar

  • Schertz, Jessamyn, Taehong Cho, Andrew Lotto & Natasha Warner. 2015. Individual differences in phonetic cue use in production and perception of a non-native sound contrast. Journal of Phonetics 52. 183–204.Google Scholar

  • Schertz, Jessamyn, Taehong Cho, Andrew Lotto & Natasha Warner. 2016. Individual differences in perceptual adaptability of foreign sound categories. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics 78. 355–367.Google Scholar

  • Shultz, Amanda A., Alexander L. Francis & Fernando Llanos. 2012. Differential cue weighting in perception and production of consonant voicing. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 132(2). EL95–EL101.Google Scholar

  • Tsukada, Kimiko, David Birdsong, Ellen Bialystok, Molly M. Mack, Hyekyung Sung & James E. Flege. 2005. A developmental study of English vowel production and perception by native Korean adults and children. Journal of Phonetics 33(3). 263–290.Google Scholar

  • Wanrooij, Karin, Paola Escudero & Maartje E. J. Raijmakers. 2013. What do listeners learn from exposure to a vowel distribution? An analysis of listening strategies in distributional learning. Journal of Phonetics 41(5). 307–319.Google Scholar

  • Werker, Janet F. & John S. Logan. 1985. Cross-language evidence for three factors in speech perception. Perception & Psychophysics 37(1). 35–44.Google Scholar

About the article

Received: 2016-04-20

Accepted: 2016-09-12

Published Online: 2017-08-01


Funding Source: SSHRC

Award identifier / Grant number: 435-2014-1504

Award identifier / Grant number: 435-2015-0490

Award identifier / Grant number: 2016-SE-188196

SSHRC (Grant / Award Number: “435-2014-1504” and “435-2015-0490); FRQSC (Grant / Award Number: “2016-SE-188196”).


Citation Information: Linguistics Vanguard, ISSN (Online) 2199-174X, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/lingvan-2016-0025.

Export Citation

© 2017 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston. Copyright Clearance Center

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in