Training Japanese listeners to identify English /r/ and /l/: IV. Some effects of perceptual learning on speech production

Ann R. Bradlow*, David B. Pisoni, Reiko Akahane-Yamada, Yoh'ichi Tohkura

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

487 Scopus citations


This study investigated the effects of training in /r/-/l/ perceptual identification on /r/-/l/ production by adult Japanese speakers. Subjects were recorded producing English words that contrast /r/ and /l/ before and after participating in an extended period of /r/-/l/ identification training using a high-variability presentation format. All subjects showed significant perceptual learning as a result of the training program, and this perceptual learning generalized to novel items spoken by new talkers. Improvement in the Japanese trainees' /r/-/l/ spoken utterances as a consequence of perceptual training was evaluated using two separate tests with native English listeners. First, a direct comparison of the pretest and post-test tokens showed significant improvement in the perceived rating of /r/ and /l/ productions as a consequence of perceptual learning. Second, the post-test productions were more accurately identified by English listeners than the pretest productions in a two-alternative minimal-pair identification procedure. These results indicate that the knowledge gained during perceptual learning of /r/ and /l/ transferred to the production domain, and thus provides novel information regarding the relationship between speech perception and production.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2299-2310
Number of pages12
Journaljournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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