Saturday, April 27, 2013

Nomination #4

Szakay, A., Babel, M., & King, J. (2012). Sociophonetic markers facilitate translation priming: Maori English GOAT – a different kind of animal. In H. Prichard (ed.), UPenn Working Papers in Linguistics, 18: Selected Papers from NWAV 40, pp. 137 – 146.

Why it is inspiring: The authors extend the work of Sumner & Samuel (2009) and find that the presence of a phonetic variant that indexes the speaker as a member of a particular ethnic/dialect group can serve as a prime in a cross-language lexical decision task.  This result is consistent with other work showing that socioindexical expectations enhance perception. 

Something to think about: It is also possible that the observed effect is due to an inhibitory mismatch between Maori and Pakeha English.

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