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Publicly Available Published by De Gruyter Mouton May 27, 2010

Sensitivity to grammatical and sociophonetic variability in perception

  • Katie K. Drager
From the journal Laboratory Phonology


Phonetic realizations vary depending on social characteristics of the speaker, and recent research provides evidence that individuals are sensitive to at least some of these sociophonetic relationships during perception (Strand and Johnson, Gradient and visual speaker normalization in the perception of fricatives, Mouton, 1996; Hay et al., Journal of Phonetics 34: 458–484, 2006). In addition to socially-conditioned variation, there is evidence that phonetic realizations in production vary depending on the grammatical function of a word (Plug, Phonetic reduction and categorisation in exemplar-based representation:Observations on a Dutch discourse marker, 2005; Hay and Bresnan, The Linguistic Review 23: 321–349, 2006), yet it is not known whether listeners can actively exploit this phonetic variation in speech perception. This paper reports on three perception experiments conducted to determine whether perceivers' sensitivity to fine phonetic detail can assist in extraction of both grammatical and social meaning from the signal.

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Published Online: 2010-5-27
Published in Print: 2010-5-1

© 2010 Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin/New York

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