Date of Degree

9-2020

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Program

Linguistics

Advisor

William Haddican

Subject Categories

Anthropological Linguistics and Sociolinguistics | Other Linguistics | Other Social and Behavioral Sciences | Phonetics and Phonology

Keywords

Speech perception, new york city english, merger in progress

Abstract

ABSTRACT

This paper is an experimental study on how perceptions about a speaker’s age and ethnicity may influence whether listeners perceive the THOUGHT / LOT distinction. The macro-categories of age and ethnicity have been found to correlate with the lowering of raised THOUGHT (Wong 2012, Becker 2010) and the favoring of the merged vowels in perception (Haddican et al. 2016). This thesis examines whether images of faces associated with different age and ethnicity categories condition perception of auditory stimuli as belonging to either the LOT or THOUGHT class. This thesis builds on previous results suggesting that non-linguistic information influences speech perception (Rubin 1992, Hay, Warren and Drager 2006), and one specific line of work in this area has shown that being shown a photograph of a person of a particular ethnic background affects listeners’ comprehension of their speech.

Share

COinS