We are pleased to announce that the next talk in our 2013-14 McGill Linguistics Colloquium Series, coordinated with McGill’s CRBLM,
Who: Alan Yu (University of Chicago)
When: Friday, November 15th at 3:30 pm
Where: Education Building room 433.
Title: “Individual differences in speech perception and production”
Linguists often discuss language in terms of groups of speakers, even though it is also acknowledged that no two individuals speak alike. The focus on language as a group-level phenomenon can obscure important insights that are only apparent when systematic individual variation is taken into account. In this talk, I offer cross-linguistic experimental evidence, showing that speakers vary significantly and systematically along certain individual-difference dimensions, including autistic-like traits, in their responses to the effects of the lexicon and coarticulation in speech perception and production. I will argue that understanding the nature of such individual linguistic differences is crucial for the understanding the inception (and possibly the propagation) of sound change, the primary source of sound patterns in language.