Research lecture: Ocke-Schwen Bohn (Aarhus University, Denmark)
Title: “Too old to learn new sounds? A comparison of perceptual training efficacy in young and old adults”
Dr. Ocke-Schwen Bohn is a professor of English Linguistics at Aarhus University in Denmark.
Current speech learning models propose that the ability for the reorganization of phonetic systems remains intact over the entire life span. This claim is well supported for adults up to the age of ca. 40 years, but empirical evidence on phonetic flexibility in older learners is very scarce. I report on the first of a series of studies which examine seniors’ (age 60 plus) phonetic learning ability. The studies compare the effect of perceptual training on the perception and production of four nonnative speech contrasts that are known to pose learning problems for native Danish speakers.
Our findings suggest that phonetic learning in a perceptual training paradigm is not compromised by an advanced age of the trainees, providing support for the claim that the ability for reorganization of phonetic systems remains intact over the entire life span. I will also report on potential differences in learning trajectories between the age groups, and share results that speak to whether and how perceptual training affected speech production.
When: Wednesday, May 17, 10:00am
Where: 2001 McGill-College, room 461 (in person only)
Coffee will be served. We encourage you to bring your own reusable mug.
Dr Bohn will also be participating in the CRBLM’s 5a7 series on May 17, on the theme of “International Perspectives on Academic Jobs”
Accessibility: The event will be held in an accessible building (note that the wheelchair-accessible entrance is on McGill-College; the entrance from Sherbrooke St has a few steps). Participants are invited to make us aware of any barriers to their participation or any accommodations that we can provide, through the registration form below