Cross-regional differences in the perception of a sound change in progress

TitleCross-regional differences in the perception of a sound change in progress
Publication TypePresentation
Year of Publication2013
Conference NameDag van de Fonetiek 2013
AuthorsPinget, Anne-France, Hans Van de Velde, and René Kager
PublisherNederlandse Vereniging voor Fonetische Wetenschappen
Conference LocationUtrecht, The Netherlands

This paper presents the results of a speeded categorization task aimed at getting insight in the speech perception patterns of speakers from three regions of the Dutch language area. In these regions the devoicing of onset /v/ to [f] is in different stages (West-Flanders: incipient, South-Holland: advanced and Groningen: almost complete) and the regions show differences in the implementation of the voicing contrast (Kissine et al. 2004). We tested the use of two dimensions (degree of periodicity and duration, 9 steps each) in the perception of the Dutch labiodental fricatives. In each region we selected 10 male and 10 female participants, age 18-28, and highly educated. The participants had to categorize 405 stimuli (9 x 9 x 5 runs) asv orf. It turned out that in all regions, periodicity is consistently used as the main cue in the cat- egorization of the stimuli, but speakers from West-Flanders and Groningen also use duration information but in different ways in the categorization of the labiodental fricatives. People from Groningen are the least categorical in their judgments. The results will be discussed in relation to the production differences found in previous studies.