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Title:Investigating the Mechanisms Behind Phonotactic Learning From Recent Production Experience
Author(s):Warker, Jill Anna
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Dell, Gary S.
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Language, Linguistics
Abstract:Recent research has shown that adults can implicitly learn artificial phonotactics constraints from experience producing syllables that contain those constraints, and that this learning is reflected in their speech errors. However, second-order constraints in which the placement of a consonant depends on another characteristic of the syllable require a longer learning period. Six experiments that use speech errors as a measure of learning were designed to investigate the mechanisms behind artificial phonotactic learning from production experience and the characteristics underlying that learning. Experiment 1 tested the ability of the mechanism to learn a constraint in which the placement of a consonant depended on the identity of a nonadjacent consonant. This constraint was learned but not until the second day of testing. Experiment 2 tested whether a dependency between consonant placement and an extralinguistic feature (speech rate) could be implicitly detected and found that it was not learned. Experiments 3 and 4 investigated the time course for learning constraints in which consonant placement depends on the identity of an adjacent vowel and found that a consolidation period provided a benefit to learning. Experiment 5 tested the duration of second-order constraint learning and found that learning is still present in speech errors a week later. Experiment 6 investigated whether a first-order constraint, which depends only on syllable position, could generalize to novel syllables and found that it could. In sum, these six experiments found that phonotactic learning mechanisms have a scope that extends beyond immediate adjacency, but can only detect dependencies within the phonological processing system. The mechanisms require more experience or time to learn second-order constraints and receive a benefit from a consolidation period. Lastly, the learning is persistent and results in the formation of an abstract, rule-like pattern that is capable of generalizing.
Issue Date:2009
Description:100 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2009.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3395532
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2009

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