Session Production I:

Production I: Imitation and Learning

Type: oral
Chair: Valerie Hazan
Date: Monday - August 06, 2007
Time: 11:00
Room: 3 (Yellow)


Lotta Alivuotila, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, University of Turku
Jussi Hakokari, Department of Information Technology, University of Turku
Janne Savela, Department of Information Technology, University of Turku
Risto-Pekka Happonen, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, University of Turku
Olli Aaltonen, Department of Phonetics, University of Turku
Paper File
  We have compared identification and imitation of a synthetic vowel continuum varying from [æ] to [ɑ] among Finnish speakers. Results indicate that special practice is needed for listeners to monitor only the sensory information in imitation and to bypass what is learned and stored in long-term memory. We had three kinds of participants: preschool children, naïve adults, and phoneticians. All the groups were able to identify the vowels systematically in the listening experiments, although individual differences were found in the location of the category boundary. Adults performed better than children in goodness rating. The experts rated goodness accurately. After the listening tests, the participants imitated the same stimuli. In this condition imitation proved to be categorical among children and naïve adults as the previous studies have suggested. Phoneticians could imitate gradually changing vowel qualities without any abrupt changes reflecting the way how the continuum was categorized into phonemes.
Production I-2 Children's clear speech suggests word-level targets: preliminary evidence
Melissa A. Redford, University of Oregon
Christina E. Gildersleeve-Neumann, Portland State University
Paper File
  The development of clear speech was examined in a cross-sectional study of three-, four-, and five-year-old children. Thirty children produced target monosyllabic words with monophthongal vowels in clear and casual speech conditions. Vowel acoustics were measured and adults were asked to provide clear speech ratings on either the vowel or the whole word. The results provided little evidence that young children hyperarticulate vowels in clear speech. Rather, the results suggest that children aim for more adult-like word targets in clear compared to casual speech.
Production I-3 Inducing Imitative Phonetic Variation in the Laboratory
Véronique Delvaux, FNRS/Université de Mons-Hainaut
Alain Soquet, Université de Mons-Hainaut
Paper File
  Vocal imitation governs speech acquisition. But the role of imitation in the routine phonetic behavior of adult speakers still needs to be investigated. The experiment reported here is an attempt to induce imitative phonetic variation in the laboratory. The experimental setting aims at giving rise to modifications in the phonetic realizations of speakers who are exposed to a recorded speaker from another French dialect. Results show that the speakers’ productions get closer to the productions they are exposed to, although the instructions are not to imitate or even to listen to the recorded speaker. We discuss the implications of this finding for the study of the emergence and the propagation of sound changes within a speech community.

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