Novel Pop-out in Phoneme Monitoring

I'm investigating novel pop-out effects in phoneme monitoring experiments. The first work to be done in this area was done by Andrea Weber on German and Dutch in her dissertation. The basic claim is that when listeners encounter a phoneme in a completely novel sequence of sounds, they will recognize the phoneme faster than when they encounter it in a normal sequence.

I've done a pilot experiment to test this with English progressive voicing assimilation and got encouraging results: Novel Popout.pdf. I'll be expanding on this pilot study in a few months.

I have been awarded a grant through the NSF's East Asia and Pacific Summer Institute to conduct a similar study on tones in Mandarin Chinese. Listeners will be presented with both novel and normal tone sequences and will be asked to identify specific tones. I will be in Beijing this summer to do this experiment. I plan to have the results of both experiments written up by December 2008.

Jeff Berry 2008-04-29