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It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

New from Cambridge University Press!


Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Academic Paper

Title: Learning pitch patterns in lexical identification by native English-speaking adults
Author: Patrick C. M. Wong
Institution: Northwestern University
Author: Tyler K. Perrachione
Institution: Northwestern University
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition; Phonology; Psycholinguistics
Abstract: The current study investigates the learning of nonnative suprasegmental patterns for word identification. Native English-speaking adults learned to use suprasegmentals (pitch patterns) to identify a vocabulary of six English pseudosyllables superimposed with three pitch patterns (18 words). Successful learning of the vocabulary necessarily entailed learning to use pitch patterns in words. Two major facets of sound-to-word learning were investigated: could native speakers of a nontone language learn the use of pitch patterns for lexical identification, and what effect did more basic auditory ability have on learning success. We found that all subjects improved to a certain degree, although large individual differences were observed. Learning success was found to be associated with the learners' ability to perceive pitch patterns in a nonlexical context and their previous musical experience. These results suggest the importance of a phonetic–phonological–lexical continuity in adult nonnative word learning, including phonological awareness and general auditory ability.


This article appears IN Applied Psycholinguistics Vol. 28, Issue 4.

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