Vol. 8:3 (2022) ► pp.363–388
Whose input matters?
The influence of socially-differentiated input sources in adult Lx phonetic learning
Input is a necessary condition for language acquisition. In the language classroom, input may come from a variety of sources, including the teacher and student peers. Here we ask whether adult Lx learners are sensitive to the social roles of teachers and students such that they exhibit a preference for input from the teacher. We conducted an experiment wherein adult English speakers heard words in an artificial language. During an exposure phase, in one condition a “teacher” produced words with 25 ms of VOT on initial stop segments and a “student” produced the same words with 125 msec of VOT; in another condition the VOT durations were reversed. At test, participants judged productions by a different “student” and demonstrated a preference for the productions that matched the VOT durations of the teacher during exposure, providing evidence for an influence of social factors in differentiating input in Lx acquisition.
- 1.1Kinds of linguistic input variability and their role in acquisition
- 1.2Variability in VOT
- 1.3Social influences on speech perception
- 2.1Researcher positionality