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LINGUIST List 21.4691

Mon Nov 22 2010

Diss: Psycholing: Dautricourt: 'French Liaison: Linguistic and ...'

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        1.     Robin Dautricourt , French Liaison: Linguistic and sociolinguistic influences on speech perception

Message 1: French Liaison: Linguistic and sociolinguistic influences on speech perception
Date: 22-Nov-2010
From: Robin Dautricourt <rdautrichotmail.com>
Subject: French Liaison: Linguistic and sociolinguistic influences on speech perception
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Institution: Ohio State University
Program: Department of Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2010

Author: Robin Dautricourt

Dissertation Title: French Liaison: Linguistic and sociolinguistic influences on speech perception

Linguistic Field(s): Psycholinguistics

Subject Language(s): French (fra)

Dissertation Director:
Mary Esther Beckman
Mark Pitt
Shari R. Speer

Dissertation Abstract:

French liaison is a phonological process that takes place when an otherwise
silent word-final consonant is pronounced before a following vowel-initial
word. It is a process that has been evolving for centuries, and whose
patterns of realization are influenced by a wide range of interacting
linguistic and social factors. French speakers therefore not only have to
adapt their lexical identification processes to words ending in liaison
consonants, but they also have to learn the rules which govern when they
could pronounce the liaison consonants, and when they should expect them to
be pronounced by other speakers.

This dissertation begins by establishing a comprehensive understanding of
liaison production with a focus on the linguistic and social factors that
influence its present day usage. The challenges which liaison presents to
theories of word segmentation and speech perception are then established,
followed by the presentation of a series of psycholinguistic experiments
that manipulate some of the most salient factors that are known to
influence liaison production (e.g. syntactic context, liaison consonant
identity, speaker age, and speaker social class).

The first experiment investigates the effects of liaison in four different
environments, and not only provides evidence that liaison consonants can
facilitate word recognition of the following vowel-initial word, but that
this effect is more likely to take place in contexts where liaison
consonants are more likely to occur in production. A series of three
experiments then use auditory stimuli from a corpus of radio interviews and
visual stimuli consisting of photographed individuals in order to explore
the influences of age and social class on the perception of liaison.
Ultimately, the hypothesis that listeners' expectations of speakers' social
identities can influence speech perception is put to the test using a
cross-modal priming paradigm.

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