Post-adolescent changes in the perception of regional sub-phonemic variation

Eun Jong Kong, Jeffrey J. Holliday, Hyunjung Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Previous studies have shown that the experience of higher education can influence speakers’ use of local and supralocal variants, but there has been less work examining its effect on perception. In the current study, we investigated the effect of higher education on perceptual cue-weighting by comparing high school and university students speaking two different dialects of Korean: Standard Seoul Korean (SSK) and Kyungsang Korean (KK). SSK speakers are known to perceptually weigh f0 over VOT in the stop laryngeal contrast, whereas KK speakers weigh VOT over f0. 117 high school and university students completed a stop identification task by responding to auditory stimuli built from VOT and f0 continua. Results revealed that while dialect-specific cue-weighting patterns existed among both SSK and KK listeners, the cue-weighting of university students in both regions was less dialect-specific than their respective high school counterparts. Comparing these patterns with those of 47 elementary school students confirmed that the trend is not directly correlated with the listeners’ ages. These findings suggest that the sociolinguistic experience accompanying the transition into higher education motivates listeners to flexibly accommodate supralocal phonetic variation regardless of dialectal prestige.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101114
JournalJournal of Phonetics
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jan

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Korea and the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF- 2017S1A5A2A03068448). We thank the institutions and teachers in Changwon for help with participant recruitment and providing space, and Jieun Kang, Hyangwon Lee, and Bokyoung Park for help with data collection.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd


  • Fundamental frequency
  • Higher education
  • Korean stop perception
  • Non-standard dialect
  • Perceptual cue-weighting
  • Standard dialect
  • Voice onset time

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


Dive into the research topics of 'Post-adolescent changes in the perception of regional sub-phonemic variation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this