Lexically Guided Perceptual Learning in Mandarin Chinese

L. Ann Burchfield, San-hei Kenny Luk, Mark Antoniou, Anne Cutler


Lexically guided perceptual learning refers to the use of lexical knowledge to retune speech categories and thereby adapt to a novel talker’s pronunciation. This adaptation has been extensively documented, but primarily for segmental-based learning in English and Dutch. In languages with lexical tone, such as Mandarin Chinese, tonal categories can also be retuned in this way, but segmental category retuning had not been studied. We report two experiments in which Mandarin Chinese listeners were exposed to an ambiguous mixture of [f] and [s] in lexical contexts favoring an interpretation as either [f] or [s]. Listeners were subsequently more likely to identify sounds along a continuum between [f] and [s], and to interpret minimal word pairs, in a manner consistent with this exposure. Thus lexically guided perceptual learning of segmental categories had indeed taken place, consistent with suggestions that such learning may be a universally available adaptation process.


 DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2017-618

Cite as: Burchfield, L.A., Luk, S.K., Antoniou, M., Cutler, A. (2017) Lexically Guided Perceptual Learning in Mandarin Chinese. Proc. Interspeech 2017, 576-580, DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2017-618.


@inproceedings{Burchfield2017,
  author={L. Ann Burchfield and San-hei Kenny Luk and Mark Antoniou and Anne Cutler},
  title={Lexically Guided Perceptual Learning in Mandarin Chinese},
  year=2017,
  booktitle={Proc. Interspeech 2017},
  pages={576--580},
  doi={10.21437/Interspeech.2017-618},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/Interspeech.2017-618}
}