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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton November 7, 2006

From fush to feesh: Exemplar priming in speech perception

  • Jennifer Hay , Aaron Nolan and Katie Drager
From the journal The Linguistic Review


Niedzielski (1999) reports on an experiment which demonstrates that individuals in Detroit ‘hear’ more Canadian Raising in the speech of a speaker when they think that speaker is Canadian. We describe an experiment designed to follow up on this result in a New Zealand context. Participants listened to a New Zealand English (NZE) speaker reading a list of sentences. Each sentence appeared on the answer-sheet, with a target word underlined. For each sentence, participants were asked to select from a synthesized vowel continuum the token that best matched the target vowel produced by the speaker. Half the participants had an answer-sheet with the word ‘Australian’ written on it, and half had an answer-sheet with ‘New Zealander’ written on it. Participants in the two conditions behaved significantly differently from one another. For example, they were more likely to hear a higher fronter /i/ vowel when ‘Australian’ appeared on the answer sheet, and more likely to hear a centralized version when ‘New Zealander’ appeared – a trend which reflects production differences between the two dialects. This is despite the fact that nearly all participants reported that they knew they were listening to a New Zealander. We discuss the implication of these results, and argue that they support exemplar models of speech perception.

Published Online: 2006-11-07
Published in Print: 2006-10-01

© Walter de Gruyter

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