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Discrimination of 2 German vowel contrasts was examined in English-learning infants of 6-8 and 10-12 months of age using a head turn procedure. The younger infants were better able than the older infants to discriminate the nonnative contrasts, but performance at 6-8 months was below levels that have been reported for nonnative consonant contrasts. A 2nd(More)
Studies of cross-language consonant discrimination have shown a shift from a language-general to a language-specific pattern during the first year of life. Recently, the same pattern of change was observed for English-speaking infants' discrimination of two non-native vowel contrasts (Polka and Werker, 1994). The present study was designed to provide a more(More)
Cross-language studies have shown that foreign consonant contrasts vary in the degree of perceptual difficulty which they present adult non-native listeners. Phonemic, phonetic, and acoustic factors have been considered important in accounting for this variability. These factors were examined by comparing English listeners' perception of the Hindi retroflex(More)
The perceptual effects of orthogonal variations in two acoustic parameters which differentiate American English prevocalic /r/ and /l/ were examined. A spectral cue (frequency onset and transition of F2 and F3) and a temporal cue (relative duration of initial steady state and transition of F1) were varied in synthetic versions of "rock" and "lock." Four(More)
Word segmentation skills emerge during infancy, but it is unclear to what extent this ability is shaped by experience listening to a specific language or language type. This issue was explored by comparing segmentation of bi-syllabic words in monolingual and bilingual 7.5-month-old learners of French and English. In a native-language condition, monolingual(More)
To trace how age and language experience shape the discrimination of native and non-native phonetic contrasts, we compared 4-year-olds learning either English or French or both and simultaneous bilingual adults on their ability to discriminate the English /d-th/ contrast. Findings show that the ability to discriminate the native English contrast improved(More)
Perceptual reorganisation of infants' speech perception has been found from 6 months for consonants and earlier for vowels. Recently, similar reorganisation has been found for lexical tone between 6 and 9 months of age. Given that there is a close relationship between vowels and tones, this study investigates whether the perceptual reorganisation for tone(More)
Perception of natural productions of two German vowels contrasts, /y/ vs /u/ and /Y/ vs /U/, was examined in monolingual English-speaking adults. Subjects were tested on multiple exemplars of the contrasting vowels produced in a dVt syllable by a native German speaker. Discrimination accuracy in an AXB discrimination task was well above chance for both(More)