On Wed November 13 Andrés Buxó-Lugo (University of Maryland) will present on his research in the prosodylab-meeting (10.30am-11.30am) in Room 117 in Linguistics (1085 Dr. Penfield Avenue). 

The world is not enough to explain lengthening of phonological competitors

Speakers tend to lengthen words when a phonologically overlapping word has recently been produced. Although there are multiple accounts of why lengthening occurs, all of these accounts generally assume that competition at some point in the production-comprehension process leads to lengthening. In a series of experiments, we investigated what contexts lead to competition and consequent lengthening of target word duration. In two experiments, we manipulated the contexts in which a target word is produced. Speakers produced simple descriptions of animations involving referents that shared initial phonology with another potential referent (e.g., beetle and beaker). We manipulated whether the related referent (i.e. beetle) was named by the speaker themselves, by another person, or was unmentioned, and compared target word durations (i.e. beaker) in these conditions to the condition in which the related word was absent. In both experiments, we found that lengthening does not occur whenever two referents are in the display that could be confused, even when it is clear that they are confusable. Instead, speakers only lengthened target words when the speaker or another person had named the phonologically related word out loud. In a third experiment, we manipulated whether a previously mentioned referent was relevant to the present event. We found that speakers lengthened phonologically related words even when a referent was no longer relevant to the current event. We discuss the implications of these findings for existing and new theories of language production.

Paper: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0749596X19300981

Oriana Kilbourn-Ceron will present on on-going research  (11.30am-12pm): “Word final consonant variation is triggered by variation in the speech planning window”