No evidence for convergence to sub-phonemic F2 shifts in shadowing

Uluşahin, O., Bosker, H. R., McQueen, J. M., & Meyer, A. S. (2023). No evidence for convergence to sub-phonemic F2 shifts in shadowing. In R. Skarnitzl, & J. Volín (Eds.), Proceedings of the 20th International Congress of the Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS 2023) (pp. 96-100). Prague: Guarant International.
Over the course of a conversation, interlocutors sound more and more like each other in a process called convergence. However, the automaticity and grain size of convergence are not well established. This study therefore examined whether female native Dutch speakers converge to large yet sub-phonemic shifts in the F2 of the vowel /e/. Participants first performed a short reading task to establish baseline F2s for the vowel /e/, then shadowed 120 target words (alongside 360 fillers) which contained one instance of a manipulated vowel /e/ where the F2 had been shifted down to that of the vowel /ø/. Consistent exposure to large (sub-phonemic) downward shifts in F2 did not result in convergence. The results raise issues for theories which view convergence as a product of automatic integration between perception and production.
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