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Tuesday Seminar: Special Multi-Speaker Event

21-Mar-2017 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

1) Speaker: Jonny Kim
Subject: The perception of words stereotypically associated with younger and older Korean speakers

Three findings demonstrate how probabilistic information in language is organized in the cognitive system together with social indices, and how this storage social information affects lexical access. First, words are better recognized when spoken by a talker whose age matches the age associated with the word. Word-stereotypes wield an additional influence on this effect above and beyond that of distribution. Second, recognizing age-associated target words is also influenced by age-neutral talkers; use of an age-related sociolinguistic marker embedded in a preceding utterance, indicating that activation of social exemplars spreads over to guide the processing of a subsequent word. Last (in progress), the effect of congruence between talker age and ‘word age’ is also observed in online processing, as evidenced by eye-tracking data.Therefore, associations are encoded at a representational level, and its effect occurs during lexical access, not as a consequence of post-access integration between acoustic signals and contextual information.

2) Speaker: Alex Smith
Subject: Radical sound change in eastern Borneo: stress shift and vowel expansion in previously undescribed languages

This presentation focuses on two groups of languages found in the East and North Kalimantan provinces of Indonesia, on the island of Borneo, where field work was undertaken during research for my dissertation. These languages exhibit several interesting features not found in most Austronesian languages of Indonesia, including strong word final stress, strikingly large vowel inventories (up to 26 vowels in one case), and interesting historical phonologies. The talk will focus on three languages, Merap, Gaai, and Kelai, but will include data from a few other languages where appropriate. Audio recordings will also be played for the audience, to give attendees a feel for the languages.

3) Speaker: Raina Heaton
Subject: A featural description of antipassive-type structures

In this talk I describe variations on antipassive-type patterns which were observed in a typological survey of 445 languages from all over the world. There were eleven features related to antipassives tracked for the survey, and their interaction describes a wide variety of structures, both antipassive and non-antipassive (at least by most definitions). I begin with a discussion of the features and why they were chosen, and give a basic working definition for antipassive. I then briefly discuss the eight common patterns of features found across the languages in the sample, and provide a series of schematics which illustrate how these features relate to each other. These findings inform our understanding of antipassive-type phenomena, and give us an idea of how frequent different patterns are across a genetically and geographically diverse sample.

4) Speaker: Amber Camp
Subject: Tone-intonation interaction in context in Thai

The acoustic realization of lexical tone is influenced by sentence-level intonation. For example, F0 measurements show that a phonologically falling tone in Thai differs in sentence-medial and sentence-final contexts. Sentence finally, when it is overlaid with a falling intonational contour, F0 falls further and begins its decline at an earlier timepoint than when in sentence-medial position. This categorical perception study, which includes identification and discrimination tasks, uses two nine-step continua of target words created with naturally produced lexical tone endpoints, presented within two different naturally produced sentence frames. These tasks investigate the perception of high and falling tones in sentence-medial and sentence-final positions in Thai to probe whether intonation on the sentence level influences perception of tones. The results shed light on the interaction of tone and intonation in the perception of natural speech, and offer insight into the mechanism with which language users process suprasegmental information.


Department of Linguistics


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