Penn State Penn State: College of the Liberal Arts
Navin Viswanathan and Anne Olmstead – Studying Phonetic Adaptation in Interaction
September 17, 2021
9:00 am

Navin Viswanathan and Anne Olmstead – Studying Phonetic Adaptation in Interaction

Studying Phonetic Adaptation in Interaction

Typically, research in speech perception and production has focused on studying individual language users under controlled, yet arguably atypical, settings of language use (the language-as-product framework). While this approach has yielded a rich account of the mechanisms and the time course of basic speech processes, how well these findings generalize to conditions of actual communication is unclear. A separate body of work that has focused on describing interactive language processes (the language-as-action framework) offers useful guidance to studying spoken language processes in true communicative interaction.

In this talk, I will echo past arguments for the need to study speech perception and production as they operate simultaneously in true interaction. Focusing on the phonetic level, I will describe how insights from the most prominent model of dialog (the interactive alignment model; Pickering and Garrod, 2013; 2004) frame our investigation of interactive phonetic processes (Gambi & Pickering, 2013). I will describe some key limitations of this approach, and argue for broadening this enterprise. I will then present data from a recent study that utilizes such an approach (Olmstead, Viswanthan, Cowan, & Yang, 2021). I will conclude by describing a phonetic synergy account (based on interpersonal dialogic synergy; Fusaroli, Rączaszek-Leonardi, & Tylén, 2014) and discuss its promise and current limitations.