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Work Package 4 : Phonetic convergence and the sound shape of words in the mental lexicon

Our objective in this section is to more specifically determine whether phonetic convergence can facilitate the acquisition of phonemic contrasts that are not contained in the native language's regional variety of the talker. To do this, we employ a number of experimental paradigms (including behavioral data and electrophysiological measures) involving the acquisition by subjects of novel words.

We therefore examine the potential role of phonetic convergence in the formation of more generic phonological patterns in memory (which may apply to all of the words that share the same structural description in the talker's lexicon) with a view to establishing whether imitating unfamiliar phonological contrasts may lead the listener to progressively incorporate these contrasts into her/his phonological knowledge.

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