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Title:Learning to perceive a smaller L2 vowel inventory: an Optimality Theory account
Authors:Paul Boersma, Paola Escudero
Abstract:This paper gives computer simulations of the perceptual acquisition of the Spanish vowel system by Dutch learners of Spanish, thereby faithfully modelling the results of a listening experiment with real learners. Negatively formulated constraints in the perception grammar help to map auditory continua (first and second formant) to the 8 short Dutch vowels and the 5 Spanish vowels (we also show that positively formulated constraints do not work). These OT simulations have the same categorization power as simple connectionist models (Rosenblatt's perceptron) and the fuzzy logical model of perception (Massaro). Unlike these other models, however, OT perception models have the capacity to make a connection to structural phenomena that phonologists are traditionally interested in.
Type:Paper/tech report
Area/Keywords:Phonology, Phonetics, Learnability, Language Acquisition, Psycholinguistics
Article:Version 1