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Friday, October 11 • 10:30am - 10:55am
Wade & Roberts: Accommodation to observed vs. expected behavior in a laboratory experiment

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Accommodation to observed vs. expected behavior in a laboratory experiment

Speakers may converge toward not only observed, but also expected linguistic behavior, cued by social information. This study investigates how individuals adjust their speech when observed interlocutor behavior contradicts expectations. 54 subject pairs participated in a cooperative map task, communicating in an "alien" language. Participants were assigned to one of two alien "species" that differ in their use of a linguistic variant [p] or [f]; only Species A was made aware of this dialect difference. Species A always expected [f] from their Species B partner, which they in fact observed in the Matched Condition. In the Unmatched Condition, Species A instead observed their partner using unexpected variant [v]. Species A converged toward expected behavior by producing [f] before observing Species B’s speech, but made subtle adjustments after observation by increasing [f] usage in the Matched Condition and decreasing usage in the Unmatched Condition. Species B, lacking sociolinguistic expectations, converged less.


Lacey Wade

University of Pennsylvania

Gareth Roberts

University of Pennsylvania

Friday October 11, 2019 10:30am - 10:55am PDT
EMU Crater Lake N
  T: LabPhon sponsored
  • Session type Talk
  • Chair: Lauren Hall-Lew