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ERIC Number: EJ799092
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Apr
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 45
ISSN: ISSN-0364-0213
The Weckud Wetch of the Wast: Lexical Adaptation to a Novel Accent
Maye, Jessica; Aslin, Richard N.; Tanenhaus, Michael K.
Cognitive Science, v32 n3 p543-562 Apr 2008
Two experiments investigated the mechanism by which listeners adjust their interpretation of accented speech that is similar to a regional dialect of American English. Only a subset of the vowels of English (the front vowels) were shifted during adaptation, which consisted of listening to a 20-min segment of the "Wizard of Oz." Compared to a baseline (unadapted) condition, listeners showed significant adaptation to the accented speech, as indexed by increased word judgments on a lexical decision task. Adaptation also generalized to test words that had not been presented in the accented passage but that contained the shifted vowels. A control experiment showed that the adaptation effect was specific to the direction of the shift in the vowel space and not to a general relaxation of the criterion for what constitutes a good exemplar of the accented vowel category. Taken together, these results provide evidence for a context-specific vowel adaptation mechanism that enables a listener to adjust to the dialect of a particular talker. (Contains 2 tables, 2 figures, and 4 notes.)
Lawrence Erlbaum. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York