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Participated in my first cog sci experiment this morning—one of my friends is doing her thesis comparing examplar theory (we learn to recognize words by accruing lots of examples) or abstraction theory (we recognize words basically by applying phonological rules to get to some abstract representation).  So, I had to learn a whole bunch of new words (i.e., "dut," "dees", "dipe," "barch," "poot," "took" (as in [tuk]). Some of the words I learned with prevoicing (for the voiced onsets) or extreme aspiration (for the voiceless onsets). There were also old words with similar onsets (i.e., "deer," "duck," "tube," "pool," etc.), which I believe were also trained with either prevoicing or aspiration, but I didn't hear that part. :) (YAY THE BRAIN!) Anyway, the idea was: if exemplar theory is right, and all the instances of "dipe" that I've ever heard are of the form "ndipe," will I have more interference when I'm asked to identify "ndeer"? If so, then exemplar theory is probably more correct; if not, however, I (well, my brain) probably turns everything it hears into some abstract, phonologically decoded representation.

At any rate, it was fun, and I got my participant credit requirement out of the way for one of my classes. Yay!

Also, I have had the most pathetic cold ever this week. It started out like I was actually going to get sick, but instead of the usual three hours or so where you get noticeably worse, it just kind of stopped after the first stage—I have the sniffles, and a few headaches every now and then, and occasionally my stomach has that weird full-of-grossness feeling, but otherwise, I am more than happy to accept this diminished form of a cold. But it is a little pathetic.

Yesterday I met with my Linguistic Anthropology professor, and managed to slip in the all-important question—"So, how long are you here?" She's an adjunct professor, so she only has a two-year appointment, as I found out yesterday; but luckily that means I could conceivably do a linguistic anthropology senior thesis if I wanted to. SO. Also, it is just awesome to be able to gush about how much I like pronouns and not be looked at like I'm insane.

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