Indiana University

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Events for the
Friday, November 30, 2012
  • Bayesian modeling and speech perception

    Time: 01:30pm - 03:00pm 

    Place: Psy 128 (conference room)


    Arthur Boothroyd (City University of New York)

    Recognition (re-cognition) lends itself to Bayesian modeling. The task is to decide which of several hypotheses about the source of a pattern of sensory evidence is most likely to be true. The perceiver brings two types of knowledge to this task. First, he knows the relative probabilities of the various hypotheses being true before receiving any sensory evidence. Second, he knows about the range of patterns of sensory evidence associated with each hypothesis. Receipt of the sensory evidence changes the probability associated with each hypotheses. At that point, the perceiver has a couple of options: i) accept the hypothesis that now has the highest probability or ii) accept the first hypothesis to pass some criterion and move on to the next decision. This model can be applied to speech perception and nicely explains several perceptual phenomena, including Necker’s cube, reading, categorical perception, priming, the McGurk effect, and (perhaps) the lexical neighborhood effect.


    In category: Phonetics and phonology


  • Response appropriateness in Spanish: Interactional competence in collaborative talk

    Time: 02:30pm - 04:00pm 

    Place: Ballantine Hall 205


    Robert Baxter

    In the field of L2 pragmatics, several studies have surged in the last decade on the development of interactional competence in language learners (Young, 2008, 2011). Advocates for the study of interactional competence highlight the importance of examining sequential management and response appropriateness for learners, what Young labels as 'interactional resources'. The study of overlap and conversational preference in collaborative talk is a means of examining what factors impact the use of interactional resources. In order to put forth experimental means of studying interactional competence, this study pioneers an experimental task for the measurement of perceptions and variables that influence perception of collaborative talk.

    This study examines native and non-native perceptions of conversational preference and overlap in comparisons of discourse in Spanish. An experimentally controlled task examined the perceptions of 13 native speakers of Spanish, 23 advanced non-native speakers. Participants completed a forced judgment task and ranked the appropriateness of responses in two-part dialogues that compared and contrasted preference and response onset to suggestions and assessments between a male and a female native speaker. The judgment task was followed by a background questionnaire that examined demographics and language background.

    Results demonstrate that native speakers differ significantly with stronger judgments than advanced non-natives. Comparisons demonstrate that while both groups judged overlapping responses of equal preference similarly as the most appropriate item compared to mismatches in preference or overlap, advanced non-natives judged contrasts in preference considerably weaker in the absence of overlap. Non-natives displayed significantly weaker judgments when faced with a "dual-mismatch" when overlap with a preference mismatch was compared with a non-overlapped preference match while native speakers judged in favor of preference. Overall, native speakers judged for appropriateness in preference over overlap while non-natives fluctuated in judgments between the two features. Natives varied judgment values based on linguistic features (speaker gender, speech act type and item combinations), however, non-natives were less systematic with judgments of overlap and preference resulting in fewer variables that impacted perception (speaker gender, some item combinations). Non-natives failed to reach significance for speech act type and also demonstrated influence by participant age (which was not significant for natives).

    Young, R. F. (2008). Language and interaction: An advanced resource book. New York: Routledge.
    Young, R. F. (2011). Interactional competence in language learning, teaching, and testing. In E. Hinkel (Ed.), Handbook of research in second language teaching and learning (Vol. 2, pp. 426-443). New York: Routledge.


    In category: Second language acquisition


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