The organization of phonemes in languages, or phonotactics, follows specific rules and constrains. In some contexts, speakers have shown the tendency to assimilate non-native phonemes to the ones in their native repertoire. Thus, speech perception is not only dependant on biological mechanisms but also on the acoustical-phonological characteristics of the environmental language. How do we specialize in the processing of native speech sounds/sound sequences, and how do we acquire phonotactic elements that are typologically rare?
In this project, in collaboration with Ioana Chitoran http://www.clillac-arp.univ-paris-diderot.fr/user/ioana_chitoran, we aim to explore the influence of the native language on the processing of specific acoustic information of speech (temporal information) during development. Using a cross-linguistic experimental design, we would like to assess the perception of consonant clusters. Speech temporal information could be manipulated to assess the role of acoustics in the development of phonotactics as a function of age (adults vs children of 3-5 years) and native language. Stimulus and behavioral perceptual tasks need to be developed. Data acquisition with children and adults will take place at the babylab of the INCC.