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The Language Hoax

By John H. McWhorter

The Language Hoax "argues that that all humans process life the same way, regardless of their language."


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Language and Development in Africa

By H. Ekkehard Wolff

Language and Development in Africa "discusses the resourcefulness of languages, both local and global, in view of the ongoing transformation of African societies as much as for economic development.. "


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Academic Paper


Title: Can native Japanese listeners learn to differentiate /r–l/ on the basis of F3 onset frequency?
Author: Erin M. Ingvalson
Author: Lori L. Holt
Institution: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Author: James L. McClelland
Institution: Stanford University
Linguistic Field: Phonology; Psycholinguistics
Subject Language: English
Japanese
Abstract: Many attempts have been made to teach native Japanese listeners to perceptually differentiate English /r–l/ (e.g. rock–lock). Though improvement is evident, in no case is final performance native English-like. We focused our training on the third formant onset frequency, shown to be the most reliable indicator of /r–l/ category membership. We first presented listeners with instances of synthetic /r–l/ stimuli varying only in F3 onset frequency, in a forced-choice identification training task with feedback. Evidence of learning was limited. The second experiment utilized an adaptive paradigm beginning with non-speech stimuli consisting only of /r/ and /l/ F3 frequency trajectories progressing to synthetic speech instances of /ra–la/; half of the trainees received feedback. Improvement was shown by some listeners, suggesting some enhancement of /r–l/ identification is possible following training with only F3 onset frequency. However, only a subset of these listeners showed signs of generalization of the training effect beyond the trained synthetic context.

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This article appears IN Bilingualism: Language and Cognition Vol. 15, Issue 2, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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