The role of consolidation in learning context-dependent phonotactic patterns in speech and digital sequence production

Nathaniel D. Anderson, Gary S. Dell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Speakers implicitly learn novel phonotactic patterns by producing strings of syllables. The learning is revealed in their speech errors. First-order patterns, such as “/f/ must be a syllable onset,” can be distinguished from contingent, or second-order, patterns, such as “/f/ must be an onset if the vowel is /a/, but a coda if the vowel is /o/.” A metaanalysis of 19 experiments clearly demonstrated that first-order patterns affect speech errors to a very great extent in a single experimental session, but second-order vowel-contingent patterns only affect errors on the second day of testing, suggesting the need for a consolidation period. Two experiments tested an analogue to these studies involving sequences of button pushes, with fingers as “consonants” and thumbs as “vowels.” The button-push errors revealed two of the key speech-error findings: first-order patterns are learned quickly, but second-order thumb-contingent patterns are only strongly revealed in the errors on the second day of testing. The influence of computational complexity on the implicit learning of phonotactic patterns in speech production may be a general feature of sequence production.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3617-3622
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume115
Issue number14
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 3 2018

Keywords

  • Implicit learning
  • Phonotactics
  • Speech errors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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