Two posters at LSA 2021

Come see us present two of our projects tomorrow, Saturday, January 9th at the Linguistic Society of America (LSA) 2021 Annual Meeting!

Prosodic focus in human- versus voice-AI-directed speech (11-12:30pm)
Eleonora Beier, Michelle Cohn, Fernanda Ferreira, Georgia Zellou

In this study, we test whether speakers differ in how they prosodically mark focus in speech directed toward an adult human versus a voice activated artificially intelligent (voice-AI) system (here, Amazon’s Alexa). Overall, we found that speakers prosodically mark focus similarly for both types of interlocutors; this suggests that speakers may view voice-AI (e.g., Alexa) to be a rational listener who will benefit from prosodic focus marking. At the same time, there were several targeted differences by focus type, which suggests that speakers can change their use of prosodic focus marking based on the perceived properties of the listener. 

The Interaction between Phonological & Semantic Usage Factors in Dialect Intelligibility in Noise (2-3:30pm)

Riley Stray, Michelle Cohn, & Georgia Zellou

This study examines how an “American” or “British” meaning of a word (e.g., “chips”) spoken in different accents (GB, US) can affect speech-in-noise intelligibility. Overall, we found the British speaker was more intelligible producing British sentences, but also that intelligibility decreased as sentences became more stereotypically British. Results suggest that both phonological and semantic properties of phrases impact speech intelligibility of words across dialects, and that a particular semantic usage in a less familiar dialect can decrease intelligibility as sentences become less predictable.

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