Document Type

Honors Project


Speakers subconsciously alter their pronunciation towards that of their conversation partner through a process called spontaneous phonetic imitation. Previous research has shown that this imitation may not be a completely automatic process. One factor that may influence the extent of imitation is social biases based on gender, age, or region. The current study used a lexical shadowing task to determine if speakers would spontaneously imitate American English vowel variants that were not found in their native dialect. Results showed that in the non-interactive task, regionally distinct vowels were significantly imitated. Furthermore, the level of imitation was not related to previous familiarity or experience with the dialect in question.



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