Computer wallpapers : the effect of objects on the perception of sociophonetic variables.
Date of Issue2012
College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
This paper aims to replicate the effects of Hay & Drager (2010) by determining the effect of objects representing regional concepts on speech perception through the use of computer wallpapers representing British and Singaporean concepts. The participants were orientated to computer wallpapers depicting either the Palace of Westminster (representing British concept) or the Merlion (representing Singaporean concept) while listening to a recording of a male Singaporean English speaker. They were then tasked to undergo a perception task where they matched vowels produced by the speaker with a series of synthesised vowels ranging from British English-like vowels to Singapore English-like vowels. The Exemplar Theory, which served as the theoretical foundation of this paper, predicted that the responses of the participants were dependent on which computer wallpaper they were exposed to. Unlike the male participants, the results indicated that female participants responded against the predicted trend and their language attitudes might be responsible for that effect. The presence of gender effect in the study necessitates the need to rethink the assumptions of the Exemplar Theory. Nonetheless, this study confirmed the effect of objects on speech perception and the demonstrated effect reveals a promising link between environment and language.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University