Mentor: Dr. Navin Viswanathan
The purpose of the current study is to assess phonetic convergence in an interactive experimental task of the talker and the listener. We have utilized two different types of pairs of participants: English-Mandarin and Mandarin-Mandarin. Mandarin and English have very different phonetic inventories. This study takes advantage of the various English phonemes and phonetic structures that do not exist in Mandarin. We are analyzing not only the degree of phonetic convergence in these pairs but also the compensatory strategies of the pairs to increase their intelligibility. We expect that Mandarin speakers will phonetically converge to produce utterances that are more phonetically similar to the native speakers’ speech than their own natural, pre-converged speech.