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Type: Conference paper
Title: Musicians are better at learning non-native sound contrasts even in non-tonal languages
Author: Perfors, A.
Ong, J.
Citation: Building Bridges Across Cognitive Sciences Around the World: Proceedings of the 34th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, held in Sapporo, Japan, 1-4 August, 2012 / N. Miyake, D. Peebles and R.P. Cooper (eds.): pp.839-844
Publisher: Cognitive Science Society
Publisher Place: USA
Issue Date: 2012
ISBN: 9780976831884
Conference Name: Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (34th : 2012 : Sapporo, Japan)
Statement of
Amy Perfors and Jia Hoong Ong
Abstract: It is very difficult for adults to perceive phonetic contrasts in their non-native language. In this study we explored the effects of phonetic training for different populations of people (musicians and non-musicians)and with different kinds of phoneme contrast (timing-based, like the Hindi /g/-/k/ contrast, and pitch-based, like the Mandarin /l/-/l/ tonal contrast). We found that musicians had superior perception for both contrasts, not just the pitch-based one. For both phonemes, training had little to no effect. We consider the implications of this for first and second language acquisition.
Keywords: Phonetic learning
music perception
language acquisition
Rights: Copyright status unknown
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Psychology publications

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