Session Sociophonetics I:

Sociophonetics I

Type: oral
Chair: Gerry Docherty
Date: Monday - August 06, 2007
Time: 16:00
Room: 4 (Green)


Sociophonetics I-1 Frication of Australian English /p t k/: Group Tendencies and Individual Differences
Deborah Loakes, University of Melbourne
Kirsty McDougall, University of Cambridge
Paper File
  This paper presents an analysis of frication of Australian English voiceless plosives in spontaneous speech. Group and individual patterns in the rate of frication of /p t k/ in the speech of eight male twins from Melbourne are analysed. /k/ was fricated most often (17.2%), then /p/ (11.6%), while /t/ was rarely fricated (0.9%). /p/ and /k/ exhibited extensive individual variation in frication behaviour even within twin pairs and proportions of fricated tokens were relatively consistent within-speaker across sessions. By contrast, since /t/ was very rarely fricated it showed little variation among speakers. Sociolinguistic patterning in the frication of voiceless plosives in Australian English is considered. Implications of these findings for the characterisation of individual speakers are discussed.
Sociophonetics I-2 The effect of phonetic detail on perceived speaker age and social class
Abby Walker, University of Canterbury
Paper File
  It is well documented that the phonetic realization of a sociolinguistic variable can systematically differ according to the social attributes of a speaker, such as their age, class or ethnicity. What is less understood is the degree to which listeners routinely exploit this systematicity in order to make social judgments about speakers. This study uses speech synthesis to examine whether subtle changes to the phonetic realization of sociolinguistic variables in a sentence can alter the perceived age and social class of a speaker.
Sociophonetics I-3 Predicting mutual intelligibility in Chinese dialects
Chaoju Tang, Chongqing Jiaotong University, PR China
Vincent J. van Heuven, Phonetics Laboratory, Leiden University Centre for Linguistics
Paper File
  We determined subjective mutual intelligibility and linguistic similarity by presenting recordings of the same fable spoken in 15 Chinese dialects to naive listeners of the same set of dialects and asking them to rate the dialects along both subČjective dimensions. We then regressed the ratings against objective structural measures (lexical similČaČrČity, phonological correspondence) for the same set of dialects. Our results show that subjectČive similarity is better predicted than subjective mutual intelligibility and that the relationship beČtween objective and subjectČive measures is logaČrithmic. Best predicted was log-transformed subČjective similarity with R2 = .64.
Marc Brunelle, University of Ottawa
Stefanie Jannedy, Humboldt University
Paper File Additional Files
  The rate of correct identification of tones in Vietnamese is influenced by the dialect of the stimuli to which the hearer is exposed (northern vs. southern). However, sociophonetic factors such as the dialect of the person administering the experiment (northern vs. southern) and, by extension, accommodation via length of exposure to the experimenter also play a role. Our results indicate that listeners adjust their interpretation of some tone-stimuli in accordance with the dialect of the person administering the experiment, strongly suggesting that both perceptual cues contained in the signal and inferred social factors play a role in the categorization of tones in Vietnamese.
Sociophonetics I-5 A sociophonetic investigation of postvocalic /r/ in Glaswegian adolescents
Jane Stuart-Smith, Department of English Language, University of Glasgow
Paper File
  This paper presents an auditory and acoustic study of postvocalic /r/ in 12 working-class Glaswegian male speakers, young and old. The results support the view that a process of derhoticisation is underway in Scottish English, but in such a way that the contrast between words with and without /r/ is still generally maintained, albeit differently for individual speakers.

Back to Conference Schedule