Effects of phonological and phonetic factors on cross-language perception of approximants. Best, C. T and Strange, W. Journal of Phonetics, 20:305-330.
abstract   bibtex   
The degree of difficulty adults have with discriminating nonnative segmental contrasts varies across contrasts and languages. Possibly, this variation may be explained by differences in how the nonnative phones are perceptually assimilated into native phoneme categories. Two experiments tested identification and discrimination of American English approximant contrasts. Ss were 18 American English-speaking university students and faculty and 9 native Japanese-speaking learners of English. The English approximants differed with respect to their phonemic status in Japanese, as well as in the phonetic details of the most similar Japanese phonemes. The perceptual assimilation hypothesis was strongly upheld in cross-language comparisons. Furthermore, the 4 Japanese Ss with intensive English conversation experience showed identification and discrimination patterns similar to the Americans' patterns.
@article{best_effects_1992,
	Author = {Best, Catherine T and Strange, Winifred},
	Date = {1992},
	Date-Modified = {2016-09-24 18:55:59 +0000},
	Issn = {00954470},
	Journal = {Journal of Phonetics},
	Keywords = {approximants, consonants, L2, L2 acquisition, PAM, phonetics, segmental, speech perception},
	Pages = {305-330},
	Title = {Effects of phonological and phonetic factors on cross-language perception of approximants},
	Volume = {20},
	Abstract = {The degree of difficulty adults have with discriminating nonnative segmental contrasts varies across contrasts and languages. Possibly, this variation may be explained by differences in how the nonnative phones are perceptually assimilated into native phoneme categories. Two experiments tested identification and discrimination of American English approximant contrasts. Ss were 18 American English-speaking university students and faculty and 9 native Japanese-speaking learners of English. The English approximants differed with respect to their phonemic status in Japanese, as well as in the phonetic details of the most similar Japanese phonemes. The perceptual assimilation hypothesis was strongly upheld in cross-language comparisons. Furthermore, the 4 Japanese Ss with intensive English conversation experience showed identification and discrimination patterns similar to the Americans' patterns.}}
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