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Journal Article

Perception and production in interaction during non-native speech category learning


McQueen,  James M.
Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, External Organizations;
Research Associates, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;

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Thorin, J., Sadakata, M., Desain, P., & McQueen, J. M. (2018). Perception and production in interaction during non-native speech category learning. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 144(1), 92-103. doi:10.1121/1.5044415.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0001-AD8A-1
Establishing non-native phoneme categories can be a notoriously difficult endeavour—in both speech perception and speech production. This study asks how these two domains interact in the course of this learning process. It investigates the effect of perceptual learning and related production practice of a challenging non-native category on the perception and/or production of that category. A four-day perceptual training protocol on the British English /æ/-/ɛ/ vowel contrast was combined with either related or unrelated production practice. After feedback on perceptual categorisation of the contrast, native Dutch participants in the related production group (N = 19) pronounced the trial's correct answer, while participants in the unrelated production group (N = 19) pronounced similar but phonologically unrelated words. Comparison of pre- and post-tests showed significant improvement over the course of training in both perception and production, but no differences between the groups were found. The lack of an effect of production practice is discussed in the light of previous, competing results and models of second-language speech perception and production. This study confirms that, even in the context of related production practice, perceptual training boosts production learning.