Hearing R-sandhi: the role of past experience

Jennifer Hay, Katie Drager, Andy Gibson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


This article reports on patterns in the production and perception of New Zealand English r-sandhi. We report on two phoneme-monitoring experiments that examine whether listeners from three regions are sensitive to the distribution of r-presence in linking and intrusive environments. The results provide evidence that sound perception is affected by a listener’s experience-driven expectations: greater prior experience with a sound in a given context increases the likelihood of perceiving the sound in that context, regardless of whether the sound is present in the stimulus. For listeners with extremely limited prior exposure to a variant, the variant is especially salient and we also observe an experiment-internal effect of experience. We argue that our results support models that incorporate both word-specific and abstract probabilistic representations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)360-404
Number of pages45
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • salience
  • listener expectations
  • r-sandhi
  • sociophonetics
  • phoneme monitoring
  • speech perception
  • rhoticity

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