In a series of 5 experiments, we investigated whether the processing of phonologically assimilated utterances is influenced by language learning. Previous experiments had shown that phonological assimilations, such as /lean#bacon/ -> [leam bacon], are compensated for in perception. In this article, we investigated whether compensation for assimilation can occur without experience with an assimilation rule using automatic event-related potentials. Our first experiment indicated that Dutch listeners compensate for a Hungarian assimilation rule. Two subsequent experiments, however, failed to show compensation for assimilation by both Dutch and Hungarian listeners. Two additional experiments showed that this was due to the acoustic properties of the assimilated utterance, confirming earlier reports that phonetic detail is important in compensation for assimilation. Our data indicate that compensation for assimilation can occur without experience with an assimilation rule, in line with phonetic-phonological theories that assume that speech production is influenced by speech-perception abilities.
Mitterer, H., Csépe, V., Honbolygo, F., & Blomert, L. (2006). The recognition of phonologically assimilated words does not depend on specific language. Cognitive Science, 30(3), 451-479. https://doi.org/10.1207/s15516709cog0000_57