Can adults learn to perceive (=hear) new phonemes?
“The fact of the matter is if you do not hear a phoneme from another language as a child you will be functionally deaf to that phoneme later in life.” Professor Francis B. Colavita
“Attempts to train people to recognize phonemes that they don’t need to distinguish in their native language have not been successful, although this is an area of active research today.” Professor Monisha Pasupathi
You can watch Professor Patricia Kuhl's presentation with subtitles in your mother language on www.ted.com
Prof. Colavita: "When a baby, in the course of his random babbling, makes a sound that sounds like speech to its parents, they make a fuss over the baby, baby is rewarded by this, and even the baby doesn't know what he or she may have said or almost said, that sound increases the probability of occurrence."
Can adults learn to pronounce new phonemes?