Same-different discrimination judgments for pairs of Korean stop consonants, or of Japanese syllables differing in phonetic segment length, were made by adult Korean adoptees in the Netherlands, by matched Dutch controls, and Korean controls. The adoptees did not outdo either control group on either task, although the same individuals had performed significantly better than matched controls on an identification learning task. This suggests that early exposure to multiple phonetic systems does not specifically improve acoustic-phonetic skills; rather, enhanced performance suggests retained language knowledge.
Bibliographic reference. Choi, Jiyoun / Broersma, Mirjam / Cutler, Anne (2015): "Enhanced processing of a lost language: linguistic knowledge or linguistic skill?", In INTERSPEECH-2015, 3110-3114.