Dialect identification and listener attributes
This study investigates the perception of vowel-lengthening, a feature characteristic of the Spanish spoken in Córdoba, Argentina: the <i>tonada cordobesa</i>. Uniquely, the lengthening occurs on the pre-tonic syllable (Fontanella de Weinberg, 1971; Yorio, 1973; Lang, 2010), and is believed to be accompanied by a pitch peak (Fontanella de Weinberg, 1971). The goals of this experiment are to determine if duration alone (i.e. without intonational changes) is a strong enough cue for identifying speakers from Córdoba, and what listener features affect this perception. A matched-guise methodology is employed in which natural and manipulated (pre-tonic vowel duration) tokens are presented to Argentine listeners in a dialect identification task. Results show that longer pre-tonic vowel durations are associated with a Córdoba speaker origin, regardless of the speaker’s true regional origin or other linguistic cues.