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A bad feeling or a bad filling? The influence of social network size on speech perception

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Lev-Ari,  Shiri
Psychology of Language Department, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;

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LabPhon15_Revised_abstract_6.pdf
(Publisher version), 338KB

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Citation

Lev-Ari, S. (2016). A bad feeling or a bad filling? The influence of social network size on speech perception. Poster presented at LabPhon15 - Speech Dynamics and Phonological Representation, Ithaca, NY, USA.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002B-9C09-4
Abstract
Infants and adults learn new phonological varieties better when exposed to multiple rather than a single speaker. Does having a larger social network similarly facilitate phonological performance? Study 1 shows that people with larger social networks are indeed better at speech perception in noise, indicating that the benefit of exposure to multiple speakers extends to real life experience and to adult native speakers. Furthermore, the study shows that this association is not due to differences in amount of input or to cognitive differences between people with different social network sizes. Using computational simulations, Study 2 reveals that the effect of social network size on speech perception is fully mediated by the fact that having a larger social network leads to smoother sampling of the central areas of the phonemes. Furthermore, the simulations reveal that in contrast to previous assumptions, variability itself does not boost performance. The simulations also show that the effect of social network size is independent of amount of input but is modulated by the ratio of intra- to inter-individual variability. Together, these studies show how properties of our social network influence our speech perception. They thus show how aspects of our life-style can influence our linguistic performance.