ASA 129th Meeting - Washington, DC - 1995 May 30 .. Jun 06

5pSC10. Effects of perceptual learning on the production of a non-native contrast.

Reiko A. Yamada

Yoh'ichi Tohkura

ATR Human Info. Process. Res. Labs., 2-2, Hikaridai, Seika, Soraku, Kyoto, 619-02, Japan

Ann R. Bradlow

David B. Pisoni

Indiana Univ., Bloomington, IN 47408

Previous research has shown a significant correlation between the perception and production of English /r/ and /l/ by Japanese speakers [Yamada et al., Proc. ICSLP94, 2023--2026 (1994)]. The present study further investigated this perception-production link by examining the transfer of training in perception to production of a non-native contrast. Twelve monolingual Japanese speakers were trained to perceive the English /r/--/l/ contrast using a high-variability training program [Lively et al., 2076--2087]. Recordings were also made of the trainees' productions of English /r/-/l/ minimal pairs before and after the perceptual training. These pretest and post-test recordings were then evaluated perceptually by American listeners who were presented with pairs of tokens in an A-B test format. As expected, subjects' accuracy on the perceptual task improved by about 16% after 45 training sessions. More importantly, subjects' productions at pretest and at post-test were distinguishable by American listeners. More post-test productions were judged as ``better'' tokens of English /r/ and /l/ than pretest productions. Implications for the perception-production link in the acquisition of novel phonetic contrasts will be discussed. [Work supported by NIH and ATR.]