[PS-3.89] Variability and plasticity in L2 speech production: An articulatory-feedback training study

Kartushina, N. & Martin, C.

Basque Center on Cognition, Brain and Language, San Sebastian, Spain

Late second language (L2) learners often produce L2 speech sounds with accents. These difficulties in L2 production can be remediated by training, whereby learners receive feedback on their L2 sound production. Studies in L2 perception have shown that training-related improvements in L2 perception lead to an establishment of neural traces for L2 sounds, revealed by an augmentation in mismatch negativity (MMN) amplitude. This work explores, for the first time, neural plasticity resulting from learning to produce non-native speech sounds.
Thirty native Spanish speakers were trained to produce unfamiliar French vowel contrast /e/-/E/ that assimilates to Spanish /e/. During training, on each trial, participants heard the target vowel, repeated it and received immediate visual feedback showing the location, in F1/F2 space of their production along with that of the target vowel space. Each vowel was repeated 1125 times over 3 days. The improvements in production accuracy were assessed in vowel repetition task. Event-related potentials to target vowels in listening oddball paradigm were recorded before and after training to assess the neural plasticity resulting from training. The results are currently under analysis. It is hypothesized that L2 production training leads to an increase in MMN amplitude, revealing the establishment of new categories.