LINGUIST List 14.891

Thu Mar 27 2003

Diss: Phonology: Makashay "Individual..."

Editor for this issue: Anita Yahui Huang <>


  1. makashay, Phonology: Makashay "Individual differences in speech..."

Message 1: Phonology: Makashay "Individual differences in speech..."

Date: Wed, 26 Mar 2003 15:11:16 +0000
From: makashay <>
Subject: Phonology: Makashay "Individual differences in speech..."

Institution: Ohio State University
Program: Department of Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2003

Author: Matthew Joel Makashay 

Dissertation Title: 

Individual differences in speech and non-speech perception of
frequency and duration

Linguistic Field: Phonology, Phonetics, Historical Linguistics 

Subject Language: English (code: 1738)

Dissertation Director 1: Keith Johnson
Dissertation Director 2: Mary E. Beckman
Dissertation Director 3: Robert A. Fox

Dissertation Abstract: 

This dissertation investigates whether there are systematic individual
differences in the perceptual weighting of frequency and duration
speech cues for vowels and fricatives (and their non-speech analogues)
among a dialectally homogeneous group of speakers. Many of the
previous studies on individual differences have failed to control for
the dialects of the subjects, which suggests that any individual
differences that were found may be dialectal. Dialect production and
perception tasks were included in this study to help ensure that
subjects are not from dissimilar dialects. The main task for
listeners was AX discrimination for four separate types of stimuli:
sine wave vowels, narrowband fricatives, synthetic vowels, and
synthetic fricatives. Vowel stimuli were based on the manipulation of
duration and frequency of F1 for the vowels in "heed" and "hid", while
fricative stimuli were based on the manipulation of the fifth
frequency centroid of the fricatives in "bath" and "bass".
Multidimensional scaling results indicate that there are subgroups
within a dialect that attend to frequency and duration differently,
and that not all listeners use these cues consistently across
dissimilar phones. Results of this study will be relevant to the
fields of perception, feature phonology, dialectology, and language
change. If subgroups can have different perceptions of speech (but
similar productions), this questions what is needed to classify
dialect continua, and the ratios of these subgroups changing over time
can explain some language mergers and shifts.
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