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Prosem Lecture: Effect of Speech Disfluencies on Adult Word Learning

March 1, 2021 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Presenter: Emma Libersky, B.A., Doctoral Student, Research Assistant, Language Acquisition & Bilingualism Lab Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, UW-Madison
Topic: Effect of Speech Disfluencies on Adult Word Learning

Emma Libersky, B.A.
Emma Libersky, B.A.

Speech disfluencies are a common feature in the everyday speech of neurologically healthy adults. Contrary to early beliefs that disfluencies are burdensome to listeners, disfluencies occur predictably and can be harnessed by the listeners. Recent empirical work has shown that adults and children use disfluencies to predict novelty, and that adults may have better memory for information that is presented disfluently. Less well known is the effect of speech disfluencies on adult word learning. In this study, we tested monolingual and bilingual adults’ learning of novel words presented in a fluent or disfluent speech context. Data were collected remotely via Gorilla Experiment Builder. Results indicate that participants performed above chance in all conditions, and that there were no significant differences in accuracy across conditions or groups. These findings suggests that disfluencies do not help or hinder word learning, but further work is needed. Future directions of this work include measuring the robustness of learning under disfluent speech conditions.

Funded by an Emma Allen Award from UW-Madison Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders and a Gorilla Grant from Gorilla Experiment Builder.

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Zoom video recording available for 21 days after the live event.

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March 1, 2021
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Event Category:


Online: Zoom