Recent news

Welcome to this summer’s labbies!

By PAMLabMay 13th, 2019in Students, Visitors

Welcome to the three students who will be joining the lab this summer:

  • Celia Anderson (interning from June 24 to August 2) is a rising sophomore majoring in Linguistics and Computer Science at the University of Chicago. Her interests are in language production and language learning, especially phonetic and phonological acquisition in learners of English as a second language.
  • Harper Pollio-Barbee (interning from May 20 to August 23) is a rising junior majoring in Linguistics and Computer Science at Brandeis University. His interests are in phonetics, phonology, and psycholinguistics.
  • Xiaoyi Tang (interning from May 15 to August 15) is a second-year master's student in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) at the University of Pennsylvania. Her interests are in second language learning, speech perception, phonetic variation, and sociophonetics.

And a warm welcome back to Aspen, Michael, and Shane!

Congrats to Humanities Scholars Award recipient Michael Fang

Congratulations to Jiangnan (Michael) Fang, who was awarded an Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) Humanities Scholars Award to work on research in Summer 2019! Below is a brief description of the project he will be working on:

  • Jiangnan (Michael) Fang: “De-linking between words in conversational English by native speakers of Mandarin”

Michael will be working on a sociophonetic research project examining features of English spoken by Asian Americans, across a range of ethnicities and life histories in the U.S. In Summer 2019, Michael will analyze speech recordings from interviews with Chinese Americans who learned English as a second language, with a focus on their production of connected speech phenomena such as resyllabification.

Paper on sustained phonetic drift in JPhon

By PAMLabApril 11th, 2019in Publications

A research article entitled "Language change and linguistic inquiry in a world of multicompetence: Sustained phonetic drift and its implications for behavioral linguistic research" (Chang, 2019) has been published in the "Plasticity of Native Phonetic and Phonological Domains in the Context of Bilingualism" special issue of Journal of Phonetics, guest-edited by Drs. Esther de Leeuw and Chiara Celata.

Abstract: Linguistic studies focusing on monolinguals have often examined individuals with considerable experience using another language. Results of a methodological review suggest that conflating ostensibly 'multicompetent' individuals with monolinguals is still common practice. A year-long longitudinal study of speech production demonstrates why this practice is problematic. Adult native English speakers recently arrived in Korea showed significant changes in their production of English stops and vowels (in terms of voice onset time, fundamental frequency, and formant frequencies) during Korean classes and continued to show altered English production a year later, months after their last Korean class. Consistent with an Incidental Processing Hypothesis (IPH) concerning the processing of ambient linguistic input, some changes persisted even in speakers who reported limited active use of Korean in their daily life. These patterns thus suggest that the linguistic experience obtained in a foreign language environment induces and then prolongs restructuring of the native language, making the multicompetent native speaker in a foreign language environment unrepresentative of a monolingual in a native language environment. Such restructuring supports the view that one's native language continues to evolve in adulthood, highlighting the need for researchers to be explicit about a population under study and to accordingly control (and describe) language background in a study sample.

This study followed Open Science practices, and all materials and data are publicly accessible via the Open Science Framework at https://osf.io/d5qzj/ and https://osf.io/u7864/.

Chapter in Routledge Handbook of Phonetics

By PAMLabMarch 30th, 2019in Publications

A review chapter entitled "The phonetics of second language learning and bilingualism" (Chang, 2019) has been published in The Routledge Handbook of Phonetics, edited by Profs. William Katz and Peter Assmann.

Abstract: This chapter provides an overview of major theories and findings in the field of second language (L2) phonetics and phonology. Four main conceptual frameworks are discussed and compared: the Perceptual Assimilation Model-L2, the Native Language Magnet Theory, the Automatic Selective Perception Model, and the Speech Learning Model. These frameworks differ in terms of their empirical focus, including the type of learner (e.g., beginner vs. advanced) and target modality (e.g., perception vs. production), and in terms of their theoretical assumptions, such as the basic unit or window of analysis that is relevant (e.g., articulatory gestures, position-specific allophones). Despite the divergences among these theories, three recurring themes emerge from the literature reviewed. First, the learning of a target L2 structure (segment, prosodic pattern, etc.) is influenced by phonetic and/or phonological similarity to structures in the native language (L1). In particular, L1-L2 similarity exists at multiple levels and does not necessarily benefit L2 outcomes. Second, the role played by certain factors, such as acoustic phonetic similarity between close L1 and L2 sounds, changes over the course of learning, such that advanced learners may differ from novice learners with respect to the effect of a specific variable on observed L2 behavior. Third, the connection between L2 perception and production (insofar as the two are hypothesized to be linked) differs significantly from the perception-production links observed in L1 acquisition. In service of elucidating the predictive differences among these theories, this contribution discusses studies that have investigated L2 perception and/or production primarily at a segmental level. In addition to summarizing the areas in which there is broad consensus, the chapter points out a number of questions which remain a source of debate in the field today.

PAMLab at Harvard

By PAMLabMarch 24th, 2019in Presentations

This week, Prof. Chang is giving an invited talk at his alma mater, Harvard University, in the Universals Workshop series. The presentation, scheduled for March 29, is entitled "Crosslinguistic overlap in bilingualism: The view from speech perception".

Welcome to this spring’s labbies!

By PAMLabJanuary 10th, 2019in Students

Welcome to the new Linguistics student joining the lab this semester to work on research:

  • Jiangnan (Michael) Fang is a sophomore double-majoring in Linguistics and Mathematics and minoring in Music. His interests are in second language acquisition, speech production, the perception of nonnative vs. native speakers, and the relationship of speech perception to prosodic features such as vowel length and stress.

And a warm welcome back to Aspen, Dom, and Leslie!

PAMLab at LSA 2019

By PAMLabJanuary 1st, 2019in Conferences

Prof. Chang is in New York this week to present results on L2 perceptual learning of Korean (from collaborative work with Dr. Sungmi Kwon) in the Saturday afternoon 'Phonetics II' session at this week's Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America. The title of the presentation is "The contributions of crosslinguistic influence and individual differences to nonnative speech perception".

Welcome to Dr. Yao!

By PAMLabDecember 31st, 2018in Visitors

Welcome to Dr. Yao Yao, who will be a Visiting Researcher in the lab for Spring 2019. Dr. Yao's areas of specialty are phonetics, psycholinguistics, and corpus linguistics. She completed her PhD in Linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley, and is on sabbatical from her position as Associate Professor in the Department of Chinese and Bilingual Studies at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. During her visit, she will be working on research projects investigating phonological neighborhood density effects and the phonetics of heritage languages.