We investigated the effect of high-variability training (HVT) on the production and perception of French bilabial voiced and voiceless stops by German native speakers. Stop consonants in the two languages differ with respect to several articulatory and acoustic features. German learners of French (Experiment Group) trained the perception of word-initial bilabial stops spoken by six French native speakers using identification tests, whereas subjects of a Control Group did not perform a training. Additional perception and production tests of French words including bilabial, alveolar, and velar stops in all word positions were performed to capture the impact of HVT. Subjects were found to be quite good at distinguishing voiced and voiceless stops. However, voiceless stops received lower correctness scores than voiced ones and subjects of the Experiment group were able to further increase their scores after training. Results for production are mirror-inverted showing that subjects of the Experiment Group successfully produced longer negative VOT values but did not show an improvement for voiceless stops.
Bibliographic reference. Jügler, Jeanin / Zimmerer, Frank / Möbius, Bernd / Draxler, Christoph (2015): "The effect of high-variability training on the perception and production of French stops by German native speakers", In INTERSPEECH-2015, 806-810.