This paper examines the learning of a novel phonetic contrast. Specifically, we examine how a contrast is learned — do speakers learn a specific property about a particular word, or do they internalize a pattern that can be applied to words of a particular type in subsequent processing? In two experiments, participants were trained to treat stop release as contrastive. Following training, participants took either a minimal pair decision or a cross-modal form priming task, both of which include trained words, untrained words with a trained rime, and novel, untrained words. The results of both experiments suggest that both strategies are used in learning — listeners generalize to words with similar rimes, but are unable to extend this knowledge to novel words.
Bibliographic reference. Sumner, Meghan (2009): "Learning and generalization of novel contrastive cues", In INTERSPEECH-2009, 384-387.