Friday, November 16: Jacob Phillips (UChicago)

Please join us for a meeting of the Language Variation & Change Workshop, this Friday, November 16 at 3:30pm, in Rosenwald 301. A light reception will follow.

Masculinity and coarticulation influence sibilant categorization in nonce words
Jacob Phillips, UChicago

Previous research has found that listeners shift category boundaries in response to both coarticulatory context and speakers’ social attributes. The present study integrates these questions, exploring sibilant categorization in a nonce word lexical decision task. The target words contained a potentially ambiguous sibilant onset in /sCr/ clusters, for example ‘sprimble’ or ‘shprimble’. The stimuli were paired with faces determined to be more or less masculine than average. The results of this study suggest a high degree of individual variability, both with respect to compensation for coarticulation in these clusters and in sensitivity to social attributes, with responses mediated by listeners relative endorsements of traditional masculine stereotypes.

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