Phonetic Variation in Speech Perception

Instructor(s): Meghan Sumner

This course examines phonetic variation (a natural product of speech production) and the accommodation (or lack of accommodation) of this variation during speech perception. The course will center around four questions: (1) Does phonetic variation facilitate or hinder speech perception? (2) What is the role of the frequency of phonetic variants in speech perception? (3) Do systematic, predictable and random, redundant variation affect speech perception differently? (4) How do listeners adjust to unfamiliar accents? We will explore these questions through reading, discussion, debate, and thought experiments. The goals of this course are: (1) To raise awareness of the current critical issues in speech perception, (2) To redefine these issues by consolidating results across labs, studies, and stimuli, and (3) To take a step toward a unified theory of speech perception as a class, carefully incorporating each line of research into subsequent classes.


Course ID:

Tue & Fri 8:30-10:15

Classroom: KOBL 375

Areas of Linguistics:
Phonetics, Phonology and Morphology
Language Development and