Native Speech Perception in the Context of Multilingualism and Language Learning

A special issue of Languages (ISSN 2226-471X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 September 2022) | Viewed by 17662

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Linguistics and Department of German and Russian, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47906, USA
Interests: Acoustic phonetics; crosslinguistic speech perception; acquisition of second language speech;

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Guest Editor
Dipartimento di Studi Umanistici, Università degli studi di Urbino ‘Carlo Bo’, 61029 Urbino, Italy
Interests: laboratory approaches to phonological variation; heritage Italian; sociophonetics of Italian and Italo-Romance dialects; native speech production and perception in the context of bilingualism; the phonetics–morphology interface; articulatory techniques for speech research and biofeedback
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Department of Linguistics, Queen Mary University of London, Mile End Road, London E1 4NS, UK
Interests: production, processing, representation, and development of speech sounds in the context of multilingualism and language contact; the cognitive organization of dual sound systems, and the phonetic and phonological interactions which occur during first language attrition and second language acquisition

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Guest Editor
Center for Multilingualism in Society across the Lifespan, Niels Henrik Abels vei 36, 0313 Oslo, Norway
Interests: speech sound production and perception; L2 phonology; language acquisition; multilingualism; articulatory training; phonetic drift; dialects and variability in speech

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The goal of this Special Issue is to bring together current state-of-the-art research examining the effects of additional language or language variety acquisition and use on native language (i.e., first-acquired language) speech perception, including but not limited to the identification of native sound categories, discrimination of native contrasts, and cue weighting in the perception of native sound distinctions.

Previous research has provided a solid body of work on the effects of second language (L2) learning and multilingualism on first language (L1) speech production (Chang 2012, Colantoni et al. 2020, Cook 2003, de Leeuw and Celata 2019, de Leeuw et al. 2010, de Leeuw et al. 2013, Flege 1987, Harada 2003, Kartushina and Martin 2019, Kartushina et al. 2016, Law et al. 2019, Mayr et al. 2021, Mennen 2004, Nodari et al. 2019, Sancier 1997, and Schmid et al. 2004, among others). The results have indicated that bi-/multilinguals’ native sound production often differs from monolingual norms, frequently demonstrating partial convergence with, and at times divergence from, the comparable sound categories in the additional language(s) spoken by the individuals. These effects have been found for early and late bilinguals, advanced and novice learners, and immersed and home-country-based learners. In this issue, we focus on equivalent effects, but in the perceptual domain.

Initial evidence suggests that multilingual listeners exhibit language-specific patterns in perception, or “language modes” (Antoniou et al. 2012, Gonzales and Lotto 2013, Grosjean 2001). Moreover, first language speech perception can diverge from the monolingual norms due to the effects of additional languages (Chang 2016, Celata and Cancila 2010, Dmitrieva et al. 2020, Dmitrieva 2019, Garcia-Sierra et al. 2009, Law et al. 2019, Llanos et al. 2013). Nevertheless, much remains to be learned about native speech perception in the context of multilingualism, including the following questions:

  • Who is likely to exhibit second/additional language effects on native speech perception?
  • In what context/conditions of language acquisition are such effects more likely to arise?
  • What perceptual domains or perceptual tasks tend to reveal interference from additional languages or language varieties?
  • How do changes in L1 perception and production, driven by the acquisition and/or use of additional languages, connect and interact with each other?
  • What theoretical and cognitive models can explain L2 effects on L1 perception?

We welcome contributions exploring these and other questions relating to first language speech perception using a variety of methodologies and in a variety of multilingual populations, including bi-/multilingual children and adults, adult language learners in immersed and in classroom settings, heritage speakers, bidialectal speakers, and others. We especially encourage submissions examining under-researched languages and dialects and their combinations.

We request that, prior to submitting a manuscript, interested authors initially submit a preliminary title and an abstract of 400–600 words summarizing their intended contribution. Please send this to the corresponding guest editor (Olga Dmitrieva, [email protected]) and to the Languages editorial office ([email protected]). Abstracts will be reviewed by the guest editors for the purposes of ensuring proper fit within the scope of the Special Issue. Full manuscripts will undergo double-blind peer-review.

The tentative completion schedule is as follows:

Abstract submission deadline: 15 January 2022

Notification of abstract acceptance: 15 February 2022

Full manuscript deadline: 15 June 2022

References:

Antoniou M., Tyler M.D. & Best C. T. (2012). Two ways to listen: Do L2-dominant bilinguals perceive stop voicing according to language mode? Journal of Phonetics, 40(4), 582–594.

Celata C. & Cancila, J. (2010). Phonological attrition and the perception of geminate consonants in the Lucchese community of San Francisco (CA). International Journal of Bilingualism, 14(2), 185-209.

Chang, C.B. 2012. Rapid and multifaceted effects of second-language learning on first-language speech production. Journal of Phonetics, 40, 249–268.

Chang C.B. (2016). Bilingual perceptual benefits of experience with a heritage language. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 19(4), 791-809.

Colantoni L., Martínez R., Mazzaro N., Pérez-Leroux A.T. & Rinaldi N. (2020). A Phonetic Account of Spanish-English Bilinguals’ Divergence with Agreement. Languages5(4), 58.

Cook V. (2003). The changing L1 in the L2 user's mind. In: Vivian Cook (ed.), Effects of the Second Language on the First (pp. 1–18). Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.

de Leeuw E., Opitz C. & Lubińska, D. (2013). The Dynamics of First Language Attrition across the Lifespan. International Journal of Bilingualism, 17(6), 667-674.

de Leeuw E., Schmid M. & Mennen I. (2010). The effects of contact on native language pronunciation in an L2 migrant context. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 13, 33-40.

de Leeuw E., Celata C. (2019). Plasticity of native phonetic and phonological domains in the context of bilingualism. Journal of Phonetics, 75, 88-93.

Dmitrieva O. (2019) Transferring perceptual cue-weighting from second language into first language: Cues to voicing in Russian speakers of English. Journal of Phonetics, 73, 128-143.

Dmitrieva O., Jongman A. & Sereno J.A. (2020). The Effect of Instructed Second Language Learning on the Acoustic Properties of First Language Speech. Languages, 5(4), 44.

Flege, James E. 1987. The production of ‘new’ and ‘similar’ phones in a foreign Language: evidence for the effect of equivalence classification. Journal of Phonetics, 15, 47–65.

Garcia-Sierra, A., Diehl, R. L., & Champlin, C. (2009). Testing the double phonemic boundary in bilinguals. Speech Communication, 51(4), 369–378.

Gonzales, K., & Lotto, A. J. (2013). A Bafri, un Pafri: Bilinguals’ pseudoword identifications support language-specific phonetic systems. Psychological Science, 24(11), 2135–2142.

Grosjean F. (2001) The bilingual’s language modes. In: Nicol J. (Ed.), One mind, two languages: Bilingual language processing. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing: 1–22.

Harada T. (2003). L2 influence on L1 speech in the production of VOT. In M.-J. Solé, D. Recasens & J. Romero (Eds.), Proceedings of the 15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences Barcelona, Spain: Causal Productions, 1085–1088.

Kartushina N., Rosslund A. & Mayor J. (accepted). Toddlers raised in multi-dialectal families learn words better in accented speech than those raised in monodialectal families. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology.

Kartushina N. & Martin C.D. (2019). Third-language learning affects bilinguals’ production in both their native languages: A longitudinal study of dynamic changes in L1, L2 and L3 vowel production. Journal of Phonetics, 77, 1-21.

Kartushina N., Hervais-Adelman A., Frauenfelder U.H. & Golestani N. (2016). Mutual influences between native and non-native vowels in production: Evidence from short-term visual articulatory feedback training. Journal of Phonetics, 57, 21–39.

Law W.L., Dmitrieva O., Francis A.L. (2019). Language attitudes modulate phonetic interactions between languages in bilingual speakers in diglossic settings. Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism.

Llanos F., Dmitrieva O., Francis A., Shultz A. (2013). Auditory enhancement and second language experience in Spanish and English weighting of secondary voicing cues. JASA, 134 (3), 2213-2224.

Mayr R., Sánchez D. & Mennen I. (2020). Does Teaching Your Native Language Abroad Increase L1 Attrition of Speech? The Case of Spaniards in the United Kingdom. Languages, 5(4), 41.

Mennen, I. (2004). Bi-directional interference in the intonation of Dutch speakers of Greek. Journal of Phonetics, 32, 543-563.

Nodari R., Celata C., Nagy N. (2019). Socio-indexical phonetic features in the heritage language context: voiceless stop aspiration in the Calabrian community in Toronto. Journal of Phonetics, 73, 91-112.

Sancier M.L. & Fowler C.A. (1997). Gestural drift in a bilingual speaker of Brazilian Portuguese and English. Journal of Phonetics, 25(4), 421-436.

Schmid M.S., Köpke B., Keijzer M. & Weilemar L. (2004). First Language Attrition: interdisciplinary perspectives on methodological issues. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

Dr. Olga Dmitrieva
Dr. Chiara Celata
Dr. Esther de Leeuw
Dr. Natalia Kartushina
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • speech perception
  • speech processing
  • bilingualism
  • multilingualism
  • second/third language acquisition
  • heritage languages
  • language contact
  • first language attrition
  • first language drift
  • plasticity
  • dialects

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

19 pages, 2423 KiB  
Article
L1 Japanese Perceptual Drift in Late Learners of L2 English
by Chikako Takahashi
Languages 2024, 9(1), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages9010023 - 10 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1365
Abstract
This study presents evidence of second language (L2) influence on first language (L1) perception of alveolar stops. Sixty-one L1 Japanese late learners of L2 English (onset ~12 years old) in Japan (N = 31) and in the US (N = 30) participated. We [...] Read more.
This study presents evidence of second language (L2) influence on first language (L1) perception of alveolar stops. Sixty-one L1 Japanese late learners of L2 English (onset ~12 years old) in Japan (N = 31) and in the US (N = 30) participated. We examined late L2 learners’ L2 perceptual ability and L1 perception drift by administering three perception tasks (AX discrimination, forced categorization, and goodness rating) on word-initial stop consonants. The L2 learners’ L1 Japanese and L2 English data were compared to those of Japanese and English monolinguals, respectively (N = 21, N = 16). All participants’ production data were also gathered to examine potential perception-production relationships. Late learners’ sensitivity patterns along a synthesized /da–ta/ continuum differed significantly from those of monolingual speakers, with a sensitivity peak location between the monolingual Japanese and English groups. This suggests that late learners’ voicing category boundaries may have been influenced by L2 English learning. The L2 learners’ goodness rating patterns of L1 Japanese stimuli also showed evidence of L1 perceptual drift: L2 learners tended to be more accepting of Japanese stimuli with longer VOTs compared to Japanese monolinguals. Full article
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24 pages, 6264 KiB  
Article
Perceptual Discrimination of Phonemic Contrasts in Quebec French: Exposure to Quebec French Does Not Improve Perception in Hexagonal French Native Speakers Living in Quebec
by Scott Kunkel, Elisa Passoni and Esther de Leeuw
Languages 2023, 8(3), 193; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages8030193 - 14 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1234
Abstract
In Quebec French, /a ~ ɑ/ and /ε ~ aε/ are phonemic, whereas in Hexagonal French, these vowels are merged to /a/ and /ε/, respectively. We tested the effects of extended exposure to Quebec French (QF) as a second dialect (D2) on Hexagonal [...] Read more.
In Quebec French, /a ~ ɑ/ and /ε ~ aε/ are phonemic, whereas in Hexagonal French, these vowels are merged to /a/ and /ε/, respectively. We tested the effects of extended exposure to Quebec French (QF) as a second dialect (D2) on Hexagonal French (HF) speakers’ abilities to perceive these contrasts. Three groups of listeners were recruited: (1) non-mobile HF speakers born and living in France (HF group); (2) non-mobile QF speakers born and living in Quebec (QF group); and mobile HF speakers having moved from France to Quebec (HF>QF group). To determine any fine-grained effects of second dialect (D2) exposure on the perception of vowel contrasts, participants completed a same–different discrimination task in which they listened to stimuli paired at different levels of acoustic similarity. As expected, QF listeners showed a significant advantage over the HF group in discriminating between /a ~ ɑ/ and /ε ~ aε/ pairs, thus suggesting an own-dialect advantage in perceptual discrimination. Interestingly, this own-dialect advantage appeared to be greater for the /ε ~ aε/ contrast. The QF listeners also showed an advantage over the HF>QF group, and, surprisingly, this advantage was greater than over the HF group. In other words, the results suggested that the acquisition of a second dialect did not enhance the abilities of listeners to perceive differences between phonemic contrasts in that D2. If anything, the acquisition of the D2 disadvantaged the perceptual abilities of the HF>QF group. This might be because these phonemes have, over time, become less acoustically marked for the HF>QF participants and have, potentially, become integrated into their D1 phonemic categories. Full article
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30 pages, 2750 KiB  
Article
Sound Change in Albanian Monolinguals and Albanian–English Sequential Bilingual Returnees in Tirana, Albania
by Esther de Leeuw, Enkeleida Kapia and Scott Lewis
Languages 2023, 8(1), 80; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages8010080 - 9 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2212
Abstract
This research investigated contrastive perception of L1 phonological categories in Albanian–English bilinguals who returned to Albania after living abroad for over on average a decade. In Standard Albanian, there are phonemic contrasts between /c/ and /tʃ/, /ɫ/ and /l/, and /ɹ/ and /r/. [...] Read more.
This research investigated contrastive perception of L1 phonological categories in Albanian–English bilinguals who returned to Albania after living abroad for over on average a decade. In Standard Albanian, there are phonemic contrasts between /c/ and /tʃ/, /ɫ/ and /l/, and /ɹ/ and /r/. These phonemic contrasts do not occur in English. Using a “real speech” binary minimal pair identification task, we compared the accuracy and response times of bilingual returnees against functional Albanian monolinguals who had never lived abroad. Results showed that (1) reaction times for /c/ versus /tʃ/ were longest for both groups, indicating that this contrast was “harder” than the other contrasts. Surprisingly, (2) bilinguals outperformed monolinguals in accurately identifying /c/ versus /tʃ/; and (3) no significant group differences were found for the other two phonemic contrasts. In combination with other research showing that Albanian is undergoing a merger of /c/ and /tʃ/, our findings suggest that this merger is more advanced in monolinguals than bilinguals—probably because the bilinguals were abroad when the merger started. Examination of variation within the bilinguals indicated that (4) the younger the speaker was when they left Albania, and the more recently they had returned, the lower their accuracy was in identifying the laterals. These phonological findings enhance our understanding of perceptual L1 attrition whilst underlining the need to examine language change in the country of origin in L1 attrition research. Full article
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22 pages, 3633 KiB  
Article
Exploring the Onset of Phonetic Drift in Voice Onset Time Perception
by Jackson Kellogg and Charles B. Chang
Languages 2023, 8(1), 78; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages8010078 - 8 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2268
Abstract
Recent exposure to a second or foreign language (FL) can influence production and/or perception in the first language (L1), a phenomenon referred to as phonetic drift. The smallest amount of FL exposure shown to effect drift in perception is 1.5 h. The present [...] Read more.
Recent exposure to a second or foreign language (FL) can influence production and/or perception in the first language (L1), a phenomenon referred to as phonetic drift. The smallest amount of FL exposure shown to effect drift in perception is 1.5 h. The present study examined L1 perception at earlier timepoints of FL exposure, to determine whether the phonetic system is able to resist FL influence at an incipient stage. In a longitudinal pre-test/post-test design, L1 English listeners were exposed to Tagalog under different conditions varying in attention directed to the voice onset time (VOT) plosive contrast in the FL; they then completed an identification task on L1 tokens from VOT continua. In every condition, the likelihood of “voiceless” identifications decreased. This change indicates a shift towards a longer VOT crossover point between “voiced” and “voiceless”, consistent with dissimilatory drift in perception. Listeners in a control condition, however, displayed a similar, albeit less lasting, change in L1 judgments, suggesting that the change arose partly from a task effect. We conclude by discussing directions for future research on phonetic drift in perception. Full article
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17 pages, 1130 KiB  
Article
Is Full-Time Equivalent an Appropriate Measure to Assess L1 and L2 Perception of L2 Speakers with Limited L2 Experience?
by Celia Gorba
Languages 2023, 8(1), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages8010056 - 15 Feb 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1613
Abstract
The revised version of the Speech Learning Model (SLM-r) regards full-time equivalent (FTE), which involves the amount of L2 use during the length of residence (LOR) in an L2 setting, as the main factor in L2 speech acquisition. Previous studiesshowed that LOR has [...] Read more.
The revised version of the Speech Learning Model (SLM-r) regards full-time equivalent (FTE), which involves the amount of L2 use during the length of residence (LOR) in an L2 setting, as the main factor in L2 speech acquisition. Previous studiesshowed that LOR has a significant effect on L2 and L1 production and perception but does not explain differences between populations (i.e., L1-Spanish L2-English vs. L1-English L2-Spanish). A reanalysis of the data has been conducted by calculating the FTE of the experienced participants. The aim was also to investigate whether the assumptions of the SLM-r are applicable to L1 and L2 perception. A series of correlation tests between FTE and category boundary—between voiced and voiceless stops—was conducted, yielding non-significant results. The relatively short LOR of participants, the quality of the input and differences in terms of L2 instruction between participants could explain the lack of a clear effect of FTE in this study. Therefore, FTE on its own may not be sufficient to account for L2 accuracy in perception, at least for L2 speakers with limited L2 input, and other factors should be considered. Full article
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15 pages, 1093 KiB  
Article
Examining the Role of Phoneme Frequency in First Language Perceptual Attrition
by Charles B. Chang and Sunyoung Ahn
Languages 2023, 8(1), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages8010053 - 10 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2061
Abstract
In this paper, we follow up on previous findings concerning first language (L1) perceptual attrition to examine the role of phoneme frequency in influencing variation across L1 contrasts. We hypothesized that maintenance of L1 Korean contrasts (i.e., resistance to attrition) in L1 Korean-L2 [...] Read more.
In this paper, we follow up on previous findings concerning first language (L1) perceptual attrition to examine the role of phoneme frequency in influencing variation across L1 contrasts. We hypothesized that maintenance of L1 Korean contrasts (i.e., resistance to attrition) in L1 Korean-L2 English bilinguals would be correlated with frequency, such that better-maintained contrasts would also be more frequent in the L1. To explore this hypothesis, we collected frequency data on three Korean contrasts (/n/-/l/, /t/-/t*/, /s/-/s*/) and compared these data to perceptual attrition data from a speeded sequence recall task testing the perception and phonological encoding of the target contrasts. Results only partially supported the hypothesis. On the one hand, /n/-/l/, the best-maintained contrast, was the most frequent contrast overall. On the other hand, /n/-/l/ also evinced the greatest frequency asymmetry between the two members of the contrast (meaning that it was the least important to perceive accurately); furthermore, /s/-/s*/, which was less well maintained than /t/-/t*/, was actually more frequent than /t/-/t*/. These results suggest that disparities in perceptual attrition across contrasts cannot be attributed entirely to frequency differences. We discuss the implications of the findings for future research examining frequency effects in L1 perceptual change. Full article
18 pages, 1826 KiB  
Article
How Good Does This Sound? Examining Listeners’ Second Language Proficiency and Their Perception of Category Goodness in Their Native Language
by Charlie Nagle, Melissa M. Baese-Berk, Carissa Diantoro and Haeun Kim
Languages 2023, 8(1), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages8010043 - 31 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1944
Abstract
Language learners often transfer the sounds and prosody of their native language into their second language, but this influence can also flow in the opposite direction, with the second language influencing the first. Among other variables, language proficiency is known to affect the [...] Read more.
Language learners often transfer the sounds and prosody of their native language into their second language, but this influence can also flow in the opposite direction, with the second language influencing the first. Among other variables, language proficiency is known to affect the degree and directionality of cross-linguistic influence. However, little is known about how second language learning affects listeners’ perception of their native language. To begin addressing this gap, we examined the relationship between learners’ second language proficiency and their category goodness ratings in their native language. Thirty-nine English-speaking learners of Spanish listened to English words that began with voiced and voiceless stop consonants and were asked to rate how well the word represented the intended word on a 5-point scale. To create a voicing continuum, we manipulated the voice onset time of the word-initial stop in each target item from 125 ms of prevoicing to 100 ms of aspiration, in 25 ms steps. Proficiency did not affect the perception of voiced targets, but both proficiency and L2 stop production affected the perception of voiceless targets. Full article
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22 pages, 2836 KiB  
Article
The Influence of Heritage Language Experience on Perception and Imitation of Prevoicing
by Emily J. Clare and Jessamyn Schertz
Languages 2022, 7(4), 302; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages7040302 - 27 Nov 2022
Viewed by 1687
Abstract
This work tests the effect of heritage language background on imitation and discrimination of prevoicing in word-initial stops. English speakers with heritage languages of Spanish (where prevoicing is obligatorily present) or Cantonese (where prevoicing is obligatorily absent), as well as monolingual English speakers, [...] Read more.
This work tests the effect of heritage language background on imitation and discrimination of prevoicing in word-initial stops. English speakers with heritage languages of Spanish (where prevoicing is obligatorily present) or Cantonese (where prevoicing is obligatorily absent), as well as monolingual English speakers, imitated and discriminated pairs of stimuli differing minimally in prevoicing, both in English (participants’ dominant language) and Hindi (a foreign language), and they also completed a baseline word reading task. Heritage speakers of Spanish were expected to show the highest performance on both imitation and discrimination, given the contrastive status of prevoicing in Spanish. Spanish speakers did indeed show more faithful imitation, but only for Hindi, not English, sounds, suggesting that imitation performance can differ based on language mode. On the other hand, there were no group differences in imitation of prevoicing in English or in discrimination in either language. Imitation was well above chance in all groups, with substantial within-group variability. This variability was predicted by individual discrimination accuracy, and, for Cantonese speakers only, greater prevoicing in baseline productions corresponded with more faithful imitation. Overall, despite an expectation for differences, given previous evidence for the influence of heritage languages on production and perception of English voiced stops, our results point to a lack of cross-language influence on perception and imitation of English prevoicing. Full article
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