Linguistics ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 2-21-2022


Usage-based Phonology proposes that language users’ knowledge is stored in the form of exemplars reflecting experience of language usage. Exemplars encompass all visual and auditory information perceived during a language interaction, but few studies have examined the role that visual information plays. This dissertation addresses this question through two experiments. Experiment 1 tested perceptions of rounding via the visual signal (lip protrusion) in native French speakers. Participants perceived rounding in both visual and auditory signals, suggesting they may store the visual stimulus in their exemplars. Experiment 2 tested native American English speakers learning French on perceptions of rounding using audio or audiovisual training. Audiovisually trained learners performed worse than the audio trained group, suggesting exemplars were not shaped by visual signals. These findings suggest that complex bimodal stimuli may require a high perceptual load and that greater fluency may be necessary before such stimuli influence one’s exemplars.




French, visual, exemplar, phonology, usage-based, second language

Document Type


Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name

Department of Linguistics

First Committee Member (Chair)

Caroline Smith

Second Committee Member

Jill Morford

Third Committee Member

Christian Koops

Fourth Committee Member

Amy Neel

Included in

Linguistics Commons