The role of selective attention in the acquisition of English tense and lax vowels by native Spanish listeners: Comparison of three training methods. Kondaurova, M. V and Francis, A. L Journal of Phonetics, 38(4):569-587.
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This study investigates the role of two processes, cue enhancement (learning to attend to acoustic cues which characterize a speech contrast for native listeners) and cue inhibition (learning to ignore cues that do not), in the acquisition of the American English tense and lax ([i] vs. [ɪ]) vowels by native Spanish listeners. This contrast is acoustically distinguished by both vowel spectrum and duration. However, while native English listeners rely primarily on spectrum, inexperienced Spanish listeners tend to rely exclusively on duration. Twenty-nine native Spanish listeners, initially reliant on vowel duration, received either enhancement training, inhibition training, or training with a natural cue distribution. Results demonstrated that reliance on spectrum properties increased over baseline for all three groups. However, inhibitory training was more effective relative to enhancement training and both inhibitory and enhancement training were more effective relative to natural distribution training in decreasing listeners' attention to duration. These results suggest that phonetic learning may involve two distinct cognitive processes, cue enhancement and cue inhibition, that function to shift selective attention between separable acoustic dimensions. Moreover, cue-specific training (whether enhancing or inhibitory) appears to be more effective for the acquisition of second-language speech contrasts.
@article{kondaurova_role_2010,
	Author = {Kondaurova, Maria V and Francis, Alexander L},
	Date = {2010},
	Date-Modified = {2017-04-19 08:04:07 +0000},
	Doi = {10.1016/j.wocn.2010.08.003},
	Issn = {0095-4470},
	Journal = {Journal of Phonetics},
	Keywords = {duration, English, L2, phonetics, prosody, segmental, Spanish, speech perception, temporal factors, vowels},
	Number = {4},
	Pages = {569-587},
	Title = {The role of selective attention in the acquisition of English tense and lax vowels by native Spanish listeners: Comparison of three training methods},
	Volume = {38},
	Abstract = {This study investigates the role of two processes, cue enhancement (learning to attend to acoustic cues which characterize a speech contrast for native listeners) and cue inhibition (learning to ignore cues that do not), in the acquisition of the American English tense and lax ([i] vs. [ɪ]) vowels by native Spanish listeners. This contrast is acoustically distinguished by both vowel spectrum and duration. However, while native English listeners rely primarily on spectrum, inexperienced Spanish listeners tend to rely exclusively on duration. Twenty-nine native Spanish listeners, initially reliant on vowel duration, received either enhancement training, inhibition training, or training with a natural cue distribution. Results demonstrated that reliance on spectrum properties increased over baseline for all three groups. However, inhibitory training was more effective relative to enhancement training and both inhibitory and enhancement training were more effective relative to natural distribution training in decreasing listeners' attention to duration. These results suggest that phonetic learning may involve two distinct cognitive processes, cue enhancement and cue inhibition, that function to shift selective attention between separable acoustic dimensions. Moreover, cue-specific training (whether enhancing or inhibitory) appears to be more effective for the acquisition of second-language speech contrasts.},
	Bdsk-Url-1 = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wocn.2010.08.003}}
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