Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)




Anya Hogoboom

Committee Members

Kate Harrigan

Leslie Cochrane

Adela Amaral


Broadening our understandings of how the perceptual system accounts for dialectal vowel variation, this research investigates the perceptual mapping of Appalachian English (AE) monophthongal [aɪ]. I explore this mapping through the secondary perception of palatal glides in hiatus sequences of monophthongal [aɪ.a]. Formant transitions from a high front vowel to a non-high, non-front vowel mimic the formant signature of a canonical [j], resulting in the perception of an acoustic glide (Hogoboom 2020). I ask if listeners may still perceive a glide when canonical formant transitions are absent. If participants map monophthongal [aɪ] to a high front position, they might perceive a glide that is not supported by the acoustic signal, which I term a phantom glide. Ninety-six participants (45 of which were native AE speakers) heard 30 different English words ending in [i], [ə], or monophthongal [aɪ] (i.e. tree, coma, pie) that had been suffixed with either [-a] or [-ja]. They were asked to identify which suffixed form they heard. Participants in both dialect groups sometimes perceived a glide that was truly absent from the speech stream. In these cases, participants mapped static formants in monophthongal [aɪ.a] stimuli to a diphthongal /aɪ/ with a high front endpoint, causing the perception of the necessary F1 fall and subsequent rise of a [j]. Using recent models of speech processing, which encode both social and acoustic representations of speech (e.g. Sumner et al. 2014), I discuss the mapping of monophthongal [aɪ] to a privileged diphthongal underlying form.