Nadine de Rue will defend her thesis on Thursday 27th of January 2022

24 January 2022
Nadine the Rue thesis cover
On Thursday 27 January 2022, at 10.30, Nadine de Rue will defend her thesis entitled 'Phonological Contrast and Conflict in Dutch Vowels: Neurobiological and Psycholinguistic Evidence from Children and Adults'. Due to the restrictions surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak, and the corresponding limitations regarding number of guests allowed in the Academiezaal, the event will be accessible via live-stream. As with all defenses, it is a public event and everybody is welcome to join online.

Link to live-stream

The difference between the Dutch words 'buur' (neighbour) and 'boer' (farmer) is only a single a vowel (/u/ versus /y/). It is however an important difference if we want to understand what someone is saying. De Rue looked at how our brain distinguishes between vowels, particularly regarding the vowel features of lip roundness and tongue position.

De Rue conducted experiments, including EEG, to test the mental representations of the tongue position contrast and the lip roundness contrast in Dutch vowels. She found an asymmetry in both contrasts. Her work calls for future research into similar asymmetries in other languages. 



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