Missed connections at the junction of sociolinguistics and speech processing

Gerard Docherty, Paul Foulkes, Simon Gonzalez, Nathaniel Mitchell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In recent years, significant momentum has built up in efforts to integrate the social with the cognitive in theoretical models of speech production/processing and phonological representation. While acknowledging these advances, we argue that what limits our ability to elaborate models of processing and representation in which social-indexical properties of speech are effectively integrated is that we remain some way from fully understanding how these properties are manifested within spoken interaction in the first place. We explore some of these limitations, drawing on data from a study of sociophonetic variability in a population of speakers of Australian English. We discuss issues relating to methods for capturing variability in the realization of vowels and consonants, and we highlight the pivotal role of speech style and the challenges that this raises for models of production and processing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)759-774
Number of pages16
JournalTopics in Cognitive Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 30 Aug 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work has been supported by the Australian Research Council (DP130104275).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.


  • Sociophonetics
  • Speech processing
  • Speech production

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