Conclusion and the Next Step

We were able to make sense of much of the data from this experiment. As a result, Professor Lunden and I decided it would be an excellent opportunity to summit an abstract to present a poster on this project at next Linguistic Society of America conference. Although we want to have a much bigger sample set, we were able to look at these preliminary results to see what the results are likely to be. We summited an abstract in hopes that our research will be accepted and we will be able to present a poster.

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Sibilants and Affricates and Stops, Oh My!

I was able to run the experiment in the new Computational and Experimental Linguistics Lab (CELL) facility on campus. There is a sound booth where I give the participants instructions and a consent form, then leave them to run through the experiment. I originally allotted a half an hour of time for each participants, but they went through the experiment surprisingly fast, and rarely stayed more than 10 or 15 minutes. The sound booth was a great place to run the experiment, as it prevented external noises from interfering with the participants results. When the booth was not available, as another student often needed it, I found another quiet room close by. I used the same pair of headphones, in an attempt to keep each run through as similar as possible.

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This may have been easier if I lived in South Korea

I had to continue working on the Forced Multiple Choice test, to make sure it was set up properly. I also managed to get some of the instructions translated into Korean, but we decided to add the clearness scale after I had already received the translation. We also realized that, since participants would have to be in the William & Mary community or close to campus, they would probably be able to understand the english instructions. Therefore, we decided that the experiment would just have english instructions, since it would be too time consuming to wait for a second complete translation.

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Setting Up

 

In the next part of my research, I took the different consonant and vowel parts and crossed spliced them within their group. For example, a lenis [t] consonant part might be paired with an aspirated [t] vowel part, or a fortis [s] consonant part would be paired with a lenis [s] vowel part. This produced 22 stimuli, including the original unspliced words. These unspliced words were kept in as a sort of control. If listeners couldn’t correctly identify these normal Korean words, then it is doubtful that they will provide any useful information about the hierarchy of cues of these consonants. Since I was performing this experiment in the United States, many of my participants were Korean Americans. Their ability to talk and understand Korean varied greatly depending on whether they used mostly Korean or English when they were young. This means that it was important to keep this kind of control in the experiment.

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As they say in Korean… 시…작!

시작 in Korean means something like “ready, set, go” or “start!”

The first month of this summer involved mostly preparing for my experiment in various ways. Luckily, I was able to record several Korean speakers during the end of the semester, so I already had the audio files that I needed. I sorted through them and decided to use the slowest speaker. The other two speakers spoke quite fast, so I was afraid listeners might have a hard time catching the words.

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