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Original Paper

Editor's Choice - Free Access

Second Language Experience Can Hinder the Discrimination of Nonnative Phonological Contrasts

Holliday J.J.

Author affiliations

Department of Korean Language and Literature, Korea University, Seoul, Republic of Korea; Department of Second Language Studies, Indiana University Bloomington, Bloomington, Ind., USA

Corresponding Author

Jeffrey J. Holliday

Department of Korean Language and Literature

Korea University, 145 Anam-ro, Seongbuk-gu

Seoul 02841 (Republic of Korea)

E-Mail holliday@korea.ac.kr

Related Articles for ""

Phonetica 2016;73:33-51

Abstract

Background/Aims: Many studies have shown that experienced second language (L2) learners are more skilled than novice L2 learners at a variety of L2 tasks, including auditory discrimination between members of L2 phonological contrasts. In this paper we argued that while L2 experience is typically beneficial when comparing the effects of more versus less experience, it is not necessarily beneficial when comparing the effects of some experience versus none. Methods: We compared the perceptual assimilation and discrimination of the Korean sibilant fricatives /sh/ and /s*/ by 3 native Mandarin populations: naïve listeners, novice L2 learners (4-6 weeks of experience), and advanced L2 learners (over 2 years of experience). Results: The perceptual assimilation of /sh/ changed as a result of L2 experience, but only in the /a/ context. It is also shown that novice L2 learners were less accurate than the naïve listeners at discriminating between /sh/ and /s*/ but, crucially, only in the /a/ context. Conclusion: The perception of /sh/ by L2 learners may be affected by knowledge of the L2 unavailable to naïve listeners, and some aspects of this knowledge may result in a decline in discrimination accuracy after even a very short period of L2 experience.

© 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel



References

  1. Altenberg EP, Vago RM (1983): Theoretical implications of an error analysis of second language phonology production. Lang Learn 33:427-447.
  2. Aoyama K, Guion SG, Flege JE, Yamada T, Akahane-Yamada R (2008): The first years in an L2-speaking environment: a comparison of Japanese children and adults learning American English. Int Rev Appl Ling 46:61-90.
  3. Baik W (1998): On tensity of Korean fricatives (electropalatographic study). Speech Sci 4:135-145.
  4. Bassetti B (2006): Orthographic input and phonological representations in learners of Chinese as a foreign language. Writ Lang Lit 9:95-114.
  5. Best CT (1995): A direct realist view of cross-language speech perception; in Strange W (ed): Speech Perception and Linguistic Experience: Issues in Cross-Language Research. York, Timonium, pp 171-204.
  6. Best CT, Tyler MD (2007): Nonnative and second-language speech perception: commonalities and complementarities; in Bohn OS, Munro M (eds): Second-Language Speech Learning: The Role of Language Experience in Speech Perception and Production. A Festschrift in Honour of James E. Flege. Amsterdam, Benjamins, pp 13-34.
  7. Bundgaard-Nielsen RL, Best CT, Kroos C, Tyler MD (2012): Second language learners' vocabulary expansion is associated with improved second language vowel intelligibility. Appl Psycholinguist 33:643-664.
  8. Bundgaard-Nielsen RL, Best CT, Tyler MD (2011): Vocabulary size matters: the assimilation of second-language Australian English vowels to first-language Japanese vowel categories. Appl Psycholinguist 32:51-67.
  9. Caramazza A, Yeni-Komshian GH, Zurif EB, Carbone E (1973): The acquisition of a new phonological contrast: the case of stop consonants in French-English bilinguals. J Acoust Soc Am 54:421-428.
  10. Chang CB (2013): The production and perception of coronal fricatives in Seoul Korean: the case for a fourth laryngeal category. Korean Linguist 15:7-49.
  11. Chao Y-R (1934): The non-uniqueness of phonemic solutions of phonetic systems. Bull Inst Hist Philol 4:363-397.
  12. Chen C-Y (1991): The nasal endings and retroflexed initials in Peking Mandarin: instability and the trend of changes. J Chin Linguist 19:139-171.
  13. Cutler A, Weber A, Otake T (2006): Asymmetric mapping from phonetic to lexical representations in second-language listening. J Phonet 34:269-284.
  14. Detey S, Nespoulous J-L (2008): Can orthography influence second language syllabic segmentation? Japanese epenthetic vowels and French consonantal clusters. Lingua 118:66-81.
  15. Duanmu S (2007): The Phonology of Standard Chinese. Oxford, Oxford University Press.
  16. Escudero P, Hayes-Harb R, Mitterer H (2008): Novel second-language words and asymmetric lexical access. J Phonet 36:345-360.
  17. Escudero P, Wanrooij K (2010): The effect of L1 orthography on non-native vowel perception. Lang Speech 53:343-365.
  18. Flege JE, Birdsong D, Bialystok E, Mack M, Sung H, Tsukada K (2006): Degree of foreign accent in English sentences produced by Korean children and adults. J Phonet 34:153-175.
  19. Flege JE, Bohn O-S, Jang S (1997): Effects of experience on non-native speakers' production and perception of English vowels. J Phonet 25:437-470.
  20. Flege JE, Liu S (2001): The effect of experience on adults' acquisition of a second language. Stud Second Lang Acquis 23:527-552.
  21. Holliday JJ (2014a): The perceptual assimilation of Korean obstruents by native Mandarin listeners. J Acoust Soc Am 135:1585-1595.
  22. Holliday JJ (2014b): The perception of Seoul Korean fricatives by listeners from five different native dialect and language groups. Korean Linguist 16:91-108.
  23. Holliday JJ (2015): A longitudinal study of the second language acquisition of a three-way stop contrast. J Phonet 50:1-14.
  24. Hong H, Kim S, Chung M (2014): A corpus-based analysis of English segments produced by Korean learners. J Phonet 46:52-67.
  25. Ingram JCL, Park S-G (1997): Cross-language vowel perception and production by Japanese and Korean learners of English. J Phonet 25:343-370.
  26. Kallay J, Holliday JJ (2012): Using spectral measures to differentiate Mandarin and Korean sibilant fricatives. Proc Interspeech 2012:118-121.
  27. Korean Language and Culture Center (2008): Caymi issnunhankwuke (Fun! Fun! Korean). Seoul, Kyobo.
  28. Ladefoged P, Maddieson I (1996): The Sounds of the World's Languages. Malden, Blackwell.
  29. Ladefoged P, Wu Z (1984): Places of articulation: an investigation of Pekingese fricatives and affricates. J Phonet 12:267-278.
  30. Lee G, Jongman A (2012): Perceptual cues in Korean fricatives. J Acoust Soc Am 132:1966.
  31. Lee W-S (1999): An articulatory and acoustical analysis of the syllable-initial sibilants and approximant in Beijing Mandarin. Proc 14th Int Congr Phonet Sci, San Francisco, pp 413-416.
  32. Levy ES (2009a): Language experience and consonantal context effects on perceptual assimilation of French vowels by American-English learners of French. J Acoust Soc Am 125:1138-1152.
  33. Levy ES (2009b): On the assimilation-discrimination relationship in American English adults' French vowel learning. J Acoust Soc Am 126:2670-2682.
  34. Levy ES, Strange W (2008): Perception of French vowels by American English adults with and without French language experience. J Phonet 36:141-157.
  35. Lisker L, Abramson AS (1970): The voicing dimension: some experiments in comparative phonetics. Proc 6th Int Congr Phonet Sci, Prague, pp 563-567.
  36. Lively SE, Logan JS, Pisoni DB (1993): Training Japanese listeners to identify English /r/ and /l/. II. The role of phonetic environment and talker variability in learning new perceptual categories. J Acoust Soc Am 94:1242-1255.
  37. Lively SE, Pisoni DB, Yamada RA, Tohkura Y, Yamada T (1994): Training Japanese listeners to identify English /r/ and /l/. III. Long-term retention of new phonetic categories. J Acoust Soc Am 96:2076-2087.
  38. Logan JS, Lively SE, Pisoni DB (1991): Training Japanese listeners to identify English /r/ and /l/: a first report. J Acoust Soc Am 89:874-886.
  39. Lu Y-A (2014): Mandarin fricatives redux: the psychological reality of phonological representations. J East Asian Linguist 23:43-69.
  40. Martin SE (1992): A Reference Grammar of Korean. Singapore, Tuttle.
  41. Mathieu L (2015): The influence of foreign scripts on the acquisition of a second language phonological contrast. Second Lang Res DOI: 10.1177/0267658315601882.
  42. Mathôt S, Schreij D, Theeuwes J (2012): OpenSesame: an open-source, graphical experiment builder for the social sciences. Behav Res Methods 44:314-324.
  43. National Institute of the Korean Language (2014): Rules for Romanization. http://www.korean.go.kr/09_new/dic/rule/rule_roman_0101.jsp.
  44. Norman J (1988): Chinese. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
  45. Ramsey SR (1987): The Languages of China. Princeton, Princeton University Press.
  46. R Core Team (2014): R: a language and environment for statistical computing. Vienna, Foundation for Statistical Computing. http://www.R-project.org/.
  47. Schmidt AM (2007): Cross-language consonant identification; in Bohn OS, Munro M (eds): Second-Language Speech Learning: The Role of Language Experience in Speech Perception and Production. A Festschrift in Honour of James E. Flege. Amsterdam, Benjamins, pp 185-200.
  48. Shea CE, Curtin S (2011): Experience, representations and the production of second language allophones. Second Lang Res 27:229-250.
  49. Shin J, Kiaer J, Cha J (2013): The Sounds of Korean. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
  50. Showalter CE, Hayes-Harb R (2015): Native English speakers learning Arabic: the influence of novel orthographic information on second language phonological acquisition. Appl Psycholinguist 36:23-42.
  51. Stager CL, Werker JF (1997): Infants listen for more phonetic detail in speech perception than in word-learning tasks. Nature 388:381-382.
  52. Strange W, Dittmann S (1984): Effects of discrimination training on the perception of /r-l/ by Japanese adults learning English. Percept Psychophys 36:131-145.
  53. Tees RC, Werker JF (1984): Perceptual flexibility: maintenance of recovery of the ability to discriminate non-native speech sounds. Can J Psychol 38:579-590.
  54. Toda M, Honda K (2003): An MRI-based cross-linguistic study of sibilant fricatives. Proc 6th Int Semin Speech Product, Sydney, pp 1-6.
  55. Wang Y, Spence MM, Jongman A, Sereno JA (1999): Training American listeners to perceive Mandarin tones. J Acoust Soc Am 106:3649-3658.
  56. Werker JF, Cohen LB, Lloyd VL, Casasola M, Stager CL (1998): Acquisition of word-object associations by 14-month-old infants. Dev Psychol 34:1289-1309.
  57. Williams, L (1977): The perception of stop consonant voicing by Spanish-English bilinguals. Perception and Psychophysics 21:289-297.
  58. Yi C-H (2012): Hankwukeui Phyocwun Palumkwa Hyensil Palum (Korean Standard Pronunciation and Actual Pronunciation). Seoul, Acanet.
  59. Yip M (1996): Lexical optimization in languages without alternations; in Durand J, Laks B (eds): Current Trends in Phonology: Models and Methods. Salford, ESRI, pp 757-788.

Author Contacts

Jeffrey J. Holliday

Department of Korean Language and Literature

Korea University, 145 Anam-ro, Seongbuk-gu

Seoul 02841 (Republic of Korea)

E-Mail holliday@korea.ac.kr


Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Original Paper

Received: April 06, 2015
Accepted: December 08, 2015
Published online: February 09, 2016
Issue release date: March 2016

Number of Print Pages: 19
Number of Figures: 3
Number of Tables: 4

ISSN: 0031-8388 (Print)
eISSN: 1423-0321 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/PHO


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References

  1. Altenberg EP, Vago RM (1983): Theoretical implications of an error analysis of second language phonology production. Lang Learn 33:427-447.
  2. Aoyama K, Guion SG, Flege JE, Yamada T, Akahane-Yamada R (2008): The first years in an L2-speaking environment: a comparison of Japanese children and adults learning American English. Int Rev Appl Ling 46:61-90.
  3. Baik W (1998): On tensity of Korean fricatives (electropalatographic study). Speech Sci 4:135-145.
  4. Bassetti B (2006): Orthographic input and phonological representations in learners of Chinese as a foreign language. Writ Lang Lit 9:95-114.
  5. Best CT (1995): A direct realist view of cross-language speech perception; in Strange W (ed): Speech Perception and Linguistic Experience: Issues in Cross-Language Research. York, Timonium, pp 171-204.
  6. Best CT, Tyler MD (2007): Nonnative and second-language speech perception: commonalities and complementarities; in Bohn OS, Munro M (eds): Second-Language Speech Learning: The Role of Language Experience in Speech Perception and Production. A Festschrift in Honour of James E. Flege. Amsterdam, Benjamins, pp 13-34.
  7. Bundgaard-Nielsen RL, Best CT, Kroos C, Tyler MD (2012): Second language learners' vocabulary expansion is associated with improved second language vowel intelligibility. Appl Psycholinguist 33:643-664.
  8. Bundgaard-Nielsen RL, Best CT, Tyler MD (2011): Vocabulary size matters: the assimilation of second-language Australian English vowels to first-language Japanese vowel categories. Appl Psycholinguist 32:51-67.
  9. Caramazza A, Yeni-Komshian GH, Zurif EB, Carbone E (1973): The acquisition of a new phonological contrast: the case of stop consonants in French-English bilinguals. J Acoust Soc Am 54:421-428.
  10. Chang CB (2013): The production and perception of coronal fricatives in Seoul Korean: the case for a fourth laryngeal category. Korean Linguist 15:7-49.
  11. Chao Y-R (1934): The non-uniqueness of phonemic solutions of phonetic systems. Bull Inst Hist Philol 4:363-397.
  12. Chen C-Y (1991): The nasal endings and retroflexed initials in Peking Mandarin: instability and the trend of changes. J Chin Linguist 19:139-171.
  13. Cutler A, Weber A, Otake T (2006): Asymmetric mapping from phonetic to lexical representations in second-language listening. J Phonet 34:269-284.
  14. Detey S, Nespoulous J-L (2008): Can orthography influence second language syllabic segmentation? Japanese epenthetic vowels and French consonantal clusters. Lingua 118:66-81.
  15. Duanmu S (2007): The Phonology of Standard Chinese. Oxford, Oxford University Press.
  16. Escudero P, Hayes-Harb R, Mitterer H (2008): Novel second-language words and asymmetric lexical access. J Phonet 36:345-360.
  17. Escudero P, Wanrooij K (2010): The effect of L1 orthography on non-native vowel perception. Lang Speech 53:343-365.
  18. Flege JE, Birdsong D, Bialystok E, Mack M, Sung H, Tsukada K (2006): Degree of foreign accent in English sentences produced by Korean children and adults. J Phonet 34:153-175.
  19. Flege JE, Bohn O-S, Jang S (1997): Effects of experience on non-native speakers' production and perception of English vowels. J Phonet 25:437-470.
  20. Flege JE, Liu S (2001): The effect of experience on adults' acquisition of a second language. Stud Second Lang Acquis 23:527-552.
  21. Holliday JJ (2014a): The perceptual assimilation of Korean obstruents by native Mandarin listeners. J Acoust Soc Am 135:1585-1595.
  22. Holliday JJ (2014b): The perception of Seoul Korean fricatives by listeners from five different native dialect and language groups. Korean Linguist 16:91-108.
  23. Holliday JJ (2015): A longitudinal study of the second language acquisition of a three-way stop contrast. J Phonet 50:1-14.
  24. Hong H, Kim S, Chung M (2014): A corpus-based analysis of English segments produced by Korean learners. J Phonet 46:52-67.
  25. Ingram JCL, Park S-G (1997): Cross-language vowel perception and production by Japanese and Korean learners of English. J Phonet 25:343-370.
  26. Kallay J, Holliday JJ (2012): Using spectral measures to differentiate Mandarin and Korean sibilant fricatives. Proc Interspeech 2012:118-121.
  27. Korean Language and Culture Center (2008): Caymi issnunhankwuke (Fun! Fun! Korean). Seoul, Kyobo.
  28. Ladefoged P, Maddieson I (1996): The Sounds of the World's Languages. Malden, Blackwell.
  29. Ladefoged P, Wu Z (1984): Places of articulation: an investigation of Pekingese fricatives and affricates. J Phonet 12:267-278.
  30. Lee G, Jongman A (2012): Perceptual cues in Korean fricatives. J Acoust Soc Am 132:1966.
  31. Lee W-S (1999): An articulatory and acoustical analysis of the syllable-initial sibilants and approximant in Beijing Mandarin. Proc 14th Int Congr Phonet Sci, San Francisco, pp 413-416.
  32. Levy ES (2009a): Language experience and consonantal context effects on perceptual assimilation of French vowels by American-English learners of French. J Acoust Soc Am 125:1138-1152.
  33. Levy ES (2009b): On the assimilation-discrimination relationship in American English adults' French vowel learning. J Acoust Soc Am 126:2670-2682.
  34. Levy ES, Strange W (2008): Perception of French vowels by American English adults with and without French language experience. J Phonet 36:141-157.
  35. Lisker L, Abramson AS (1970): The voicing dimension: some experiments in comparative phonetics. Proc 6th Int Congr Phonet Sci, Prague, pp 563-567.
  36. Lively SE, Logan JS, Pisoni DB (1993): Training Japanese listeners to identify English /r/ and /l/. II. The role of phonetic environment and talker variability in learning new perceptual categories. J Acoust Soc Am 94:1242-1255.
  37. Lively SE, Pisoni DB, Yamada RA, Tohkura Y, Yamada T (1994): Training Japanese listeners to identify English /r/ and /l/. III. Long-term retention of new phonetic categories. J Acoust Soc Am 96:2076-2087.
  38. Logan JS, Lively SE, Pisoni DB (1991): Training Japanese listeners to identify English /r/ and /l/: a first report. J Acoust Soc Am 89:874-886.
  39. Lu Y-A (2014): Mandarin fricatives redux: the psychological reality of phonological representations. J East Asian Linguist 23:43-69.
  40. Martin SE (1992): A Reference Grammar of Korean. Singapore, Tuttle.
  41. Mathieu L (2015): The influence of foreign scripts on the acquisition of a second language phonological contrast. Second Lang Res DOI: 10.1177/0267658315601882.
  42. Mathôt S, Schreij D, Theeuwes J (2012): OpenSesame: an open-source, graphical experiment builder for the social sciences. Behav Res Methods 44:314-324.
  43. National Institute of the Korean Language (2014): Rules for Romanization. http://www.korean.go.kr/09_new/dic/rule/rule_roman_0101.jsp.
  44. Norman J (1988): Chinese. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
  45. Ramsey SR (1987): The Languages of China. Princeton, Princeton University Press.
  46. R Core Team (2014): R: a language and environment for statistical computing. Vienna, Foundation for Statistical Computing. http://www.R-project.org/.
  47. Schmidt AM (2007): Cross-language consonant identification; in Bohn OS, Munro M (eds): Second-Language Speech Learning: The Role of Language Experience in Speech Perception and Production. A Festschrift in Honour of James E. Flege. Amsterdam, Benjamins, pp 185-200.
  48. Shea CE, Curtin S (2011): Experience, representations and the production of second language allophones. Second Lang Res 27:229-250.
  49. Shin J, Kiaer J, Cha J (2013): The Sounds of Korean. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
  50. Showalter CE, Hayes-Harb R (2015): Native English speakers learning Arabic: the influence of novel orthographic information on second language phonological acquisition. Appl Psycholinguist 36:23-42.
  51. Stager CL, Werker JF (1997): Infants listen for more phonetic detail in speech perception than in word-learning tasks. Nature 388:381-382.
  52. Strange W, Dittmann S (1984): Effects of discrimination training on the perception of /r-l/ by Japanese adults learning English. Percept Psychophys 36:131-145.
  53. Tees RC, Werker JF (1984): Perceptual flexibility: maintenance of recovery of the ability to discriminate non-native speech sounds. Can J Psychol 38:579-590.
  54. Toda M, Honda K (2003): An MRI-based cross-linguistic study of sibilant fricatives. Proc 6th Int Semin Speech Product, Sydney, pp 1-6.
  55. Wang Y, Spence MM, Jongman A, Sereno JA (1999): Training American listeners to perceive Mandarin tones. J Acoust Soc Am 106:3649-3658.
  56. Werker JF, Cohen LB, Lloyd VL, Casasola M, Stager CL (1998): Acquisition of word-object associations by 14-month-old infants. Dev Psychol 34:1289-1309.
  57. Williams, L (1977): The perception of stop consonant voicing by Spanish-English bilinguals. Perception and Psychophysics 21:289-297.
  58. Yi C-H (2012): Hankwukeui Phyocwun Palumkwa Hyensil Palum (Korean Standard Pronunciation and Actual Pronunciation). Seoul, Acanet.
  59. Yip M (1996): Lexical optimization in languages without alternations; in Durand J, Laks B (eds): Current Trends in Phonology: Models and Methods. Salford, ESRI, pp 757-788.
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