Speaker Series: Marie Huffman

Apr 3, 2014 at - | IRCS Conference Room

Marie Huffman from Stony Brook University will be giving a talk (abstract below).


The talk will be in the IRCS Conference Room at 3:30pm and will be followed by the GradLingS reception. You must be over 21 and possess a valid ID to attend the second event.

Linguistic bases of phonetic adaptation by non-native speakers

Humans adapt to their conversational partners in a wide variety of ways. Work in a number of experimental paradigms has demonstrated phonetic adaptation operating at the level of fine phonetic detail. Pickering and Garrod (2004, 2007) and Costa et al. (2008) suggest that a process of convergent adaptation is fundamental in conversation, and operates via priming of linguistic representations by a speaker’s conversational partner. If this is the case, then phonetic adaptation effects should be limited by the speaker’s phonetic repertoire (e.g., Babel 2009). This raises interesting questions about adaptation by non-native speakers in particular who have less experience with speech variation and whose representations may be considerably different from those of a native speaker. To probe the effects of specific differences between interlanguage and native language grammars, we need more precise measures than are afforded by the commonly used global perceptual judgments of adaptation. 

I will present acoustic data on adaptation in collaborative conversation by Korean speakers of English which suggest that adaptation by priming does reflect differences between the learner’s L2 grammar and that of their native English speaking partner. The data also show that non-native speakers employ more cues to signal a contrast when there is a local pragmatic need to represent the contrast. These data suggest a role for exemplar representations as part of speech production planning.