Mother tongue may affect hearers’ listening to judge the actual sounds
they hear. In Munson’s study, he measures three different native speakers—Greek,
English, Japanese with /K/ before front vowel. The result shows that Greek
speakers mostly perceive the right /K/.However, English speakers tend to
substitute /K/ with /t/ and Japanese chose /??/.From
the outcome, it shows that one’s learning experience indeed influences one’s hearing,
especially on the recognition.
In Ma’s study, Visual Analog Scaling (VAS) has been
mentioned. In contrast to traditional binary theory.VAS can probe more detail
of the difference of the sound. Through VAS, listener is asked to sit front of
the computer, and they are asked to choose the correct sounds that they hear.
Based on the VAS Rating, the derivation that listeners misjudge is present continuously
from which one can see how these variations change. What’s more in /s/ and /?/ test,
participants focusing on Children aged 2-5 are categorized into male and
female. During the test, Ma randomly inserts some vowel judgments in it. The
ratings show that VAS is more stable than binary ratings.
Johnson and Babel(2012) exam the perception of
fricatives by Dutch and English speakers. First, as to fricative phonemes, Dutch
and English have different inventories. For example, in Dutch it ha/x/ while
/s/ and /?/ in English. The phonological that applied to these sounds are also different
in Dutch and English.
In Johnson and Babel’s experiment, the participants do
not need to learn the target sounds that they are asked to test. The words that
they choose are disyllabic. The target sounds are /f ??x h/ and they are
encompassed by the vowels a, I and u.; the patterns are a_ai_iand u_u .Further
they use the letters to form the sentences and ask the participant to listen
and repeat. This result implies that if the language lacks certain phonemic
contrast, it would cause its speaker hard in perceiving the sounds. For
example, ? is rated similar to s while they testing Dutch speaker. They
supposes these may be the result that while listening ? Dutch listener may
pay more attention on the transition of vowel formant than the fricative noise.
However one may argue that learning experience may be
the factor that affects listeners’ judgments of these similar fricative sounds.
As the result of the doubt, Johnson designed a test which is suitable for lower
level processing in the perception of these sounds. They control the speed of
the recording speech and shorten the interval time of each stimulus to100ms. In
order to reduce the loading that caused by memory, what participants asked to
do is to decide it is the same or different of the two sounds. The lexical they
choose are the same as what have mentioned above. In this research the factor,
some lexical implication that the context of the sentences cause could be avoid
due to fast speech. The listeners’ reaction time could be viewed as the judgment
of perceptual distance—If the thinking time is shorter, the sounds are much
similar; contrarily if one needs a lot of time then the two sound share less
similar features. In this experiment Dutch and English show almost the same
reaction time. It excludes the possibility that the low-level auditory system
affects the judgment. Also, this experiment has the corresponding result as to
the last test of the similarity of the fricative sounds.
One’s inventory of his or her native phonemic similar
sounds would indeed affect the actual sounds he or she receives. However, do
there exist certain phonological combinations with these phonetic similar
sounds that are easily confused wile articulating and listening? Dinnsen(2013)
perceived that interdental sounds are easily confused as labial fricatives due
to the result of labialization. In contrast, grooved coronal fricatives
affected by dentalization are pronounced as labial fricatives. What’s more,
they also points out that these interdental resulting from the process of
dentalization would not be further labialized.
Dinnsen et.al do
a research on Children with poor fricative sound system in their native
language. They find two common errors. One of the error they call it “coronalization
” in which a labial sound is replaced by an interdenta; fricative. The other
error pattern, they name it as “Grooving” in which an interdental fricative is
substituted as a grove fricative. Examples they providing are fun??n and thumbs?m respectively.
As to the issue of phonetic similarity, we often connects it with
acoustic map which is drawn based on the natural phonetic features. However,
there still exists perceptual map which comes from the result of the auditory
confusion matrix conducted by Braida, Sekiyama and Dix.Based on Johnson (2004) In
the first level or the most closed relationship, /?/ and
/f/ are combined together. It disobey the acoustic features of the natural
sounds in which /?/ and /S/ are bonded.
The differences between thse two maps imply us that there still exists some mechanism
when the sound is transmitted to our brain and this mechanism affects our final
judgment. As to what kind of mechanism that different language system may
choose and to what degree it would change our perception of the sounds? It is still needed
to be considered