Recent news

Kellogg & Chang in Languages

By PAMLabMarch 8th, 2023in Faculty, Publications, Students

A paper entitled "Exploring the onset of phonetic drift in voice onset time perception" (Kellogg & Chang, 2023) has been published in the open-access journal Languages.

Abstract: Recent exposure to a second or foreign language (FL) can influence production and/or perception in the first language (L1), a phenomenon referred to as phonetic drift. The smallest amount of FL exposure shown to effect drift in perception is 1.5 hours (Gong et al. 2016). The present study examined L1 perception at earlier timepoints of FL exposure, to determine whether the phonetic system is able to resist FL influence at an incipient stage. In a longitudinal pre-test/post-test design, L1 English listeners were exposed to Tagalog under different conditions varying in attention directed to the voice onset time (VOT) plosive contrast in the FL; they then completed an identification task on L1 tokens from VOT continua. In every condition, the likelihood of “voiceless” identifications decreased. This change indicates a shift towards a longer VOT crossover point between “voiced” and “voiceless”, consistent with dissimilatory drift in perception. Listeners in a control condition, however, displayed a similar, albeit less lasting, change in L1 judgments, suggesting that the change arose partly from a task effect. We conclude by discussing directions for future research on phonetic drift in perception.

This study followed Open Science practices, and all materials and data are publicly accessible via the Open Science Framework at

Tagged: , ,

Chang & Ahn in Languages

By PAMLabFebruary 9th, 2023in Faculty, Publications

A paper entitled "Examining the role of phoneme frequency in first language perceptual attrition" (Chang & Ahn, 2023) has been published in the open-access journal Languages.

Abstract: In this paper, we follow up on previous findings concerning first language (L1) perceptual attrition to examine the role of phoneme frequency in influencing variation across L1 contrasts. We hypothesized that maintenance of L1 Korean contrasts (i.e., resistance to attrition) in L1 Korean-L2 English bilinguals would be correlated with frequency, such that better-maintained contrasts would also be more frequent in the L1. To explore this hypothesis, we collected frequency data on three Korean contrasts (/n/-/l/, /t/-/t*/, /s/-/s*/) and compared these data to perceptual attrition data from a speeded sequence recall task testing the perception and phonological encoding of the target contrasts. Results only partially supported the hypothesis. On the one hand, /n/-/l/, the best-maintained contrast, was the most frequent contrast overall. On the other hand, /n/-/l/ also evinced the greatest frequency asymmetry between the two members of the contrast (meaning that it was the least important to perceive accurately); furthermore, /s/-/s*/, which was less well maintained than /t/-/t*/, was actually more frequent than /t/-/t*/. These results suggest that disparities in perceptual attrition across contrasts cannot be attributed entirely to frequency differences. We discuss the implications of the findings for future research examining frequency effects in L1 perceptual change.

This study followed Open Science practices, and all materials and data are publicly accessible via the Open Science Framework at

Tagged: , ,

Paper in POMA

By PAMLabDecember 31st, 2022in Faculty, Publications, Students

A paper entitled "Unity and diversity in Asian American language variation: Data from Chinese, Filipino, Korean, and Vietnamese Americans" (Chang & Dionne, 2022) has been published in the open-access journal Proceedings of Meetings on Acoustics.

Abstract: The present study examined sociophonetic variation in a small sample of Asian Americans in Boston, Massachusetts representing four ethnic groups: Chinese, Filipino, Korean, and Vietnamese. Analyzing these speakers’ English production in tasks eliciting both casual and careful speech, we focused on four linguistic features comprising features observed in Eastern New England and in certain Asian American groups. Three features (R-DELETION, L-VOCALIZATION, L/R-CONFLATION) were coded auditorily and one (LOW BACK RAISING of /ɑ/ to /ɔ/) acoustically. Overall, results showed low use of Eastern New England features (R-DELETION, LOW BACK RAISING), high use of L-VOCALIZATION, and no use of L/R-CONFLATION, but also significant differences in specific patterns of use according to ethnicity and speech style. Ethnicity was a significant predictor of the occurrence of R-DELETION and L-VOCALIZATION, and also a significant predictor of first formant (F1) values in the low back vowels, although no clear vowel merger was found. Careful speech showed lower rates of R-DELETION and L-VOCALIZATION and less overlap of the low back vowels as compared to casual speech. These findings reveal similarities and differences in speech production among ethnically diverse Asian Americans and highlight the need for further investigation of phonetic variation within this community.

This study followed Open Science practices, and all materials and data are publicly accessible via the Open Science Framework at and

PAMLabbies at LSA 2023

By PAMLabSeptember 28th, 2022in Conferences, Faculty, Presentations, Students

Kudos to junior Linguistics major Sam Rigor (CAS '24) and recent alum Kate Fraser (CAS '22) on their acceptances to the upcoming Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America (LSA 2023), to take place in January!

Sam will present the poster "Coronal stop deletion in Asian American speech: Effects of phonology, ethnicity, and language use" (co-authored with Prof. Chang).

Kate will present the talk "Perception of Asian American identity in speech: The role of listener background and ideology" (co-authored with Prof. Chang).

Congratulations to all!

Tagged: , , , , ,