ASA 125th Meeting Ottawa 1993 May

4pSP7. Training Japanese listeners to identify english /r/ and /l/: A replication and extension.

David B. Pisoni

Scott E. Lively

Speech Res. Lab., Dept. of Psychol., Indiana Univ., Bloomington, IN 47405

Reiko A. Yamada

Yoh'ichi Tohkura

ATR Human Information Processing Res. Labs., Kyoto, Japan

Tsuneo Yamada

Osaka Univ., Osaka, Japan

Monolingual native speakers of Japanese were trained to identify English /r/ and /l/ using a modified version of Logan, Lively, and Pisoni's [J. S. Logan et al., J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 89, 874--886 (1991)] high variability training procedure. Both the talker's voice and the phonetic environment were varied during training. Subjects improved in their ability to identify /r/ and /l/ from the pre-test to the post-test and during training. Generalization accuracy depended on the voice of the talker producing the /r/--/l/ contrasts: Subjects were significantly more accurate when words were produced by a familiar talker than when they were produced by an unfamiliar talker. Three months after the conclusion of training, subjects were given the post-test and the tests of generalization again. Surprisingly, accuracy decreased only slightly on each test, even though no training or exposure to /r/ and /l/ occurred during the 3-month interval. These results demonstrate that the high variability training paradigm is effective in modifying nonnative listeners' phonetic perception and that these changes are extremely robust over time. [Work supported by ATR.]