I’ve been working really really hard. My wordlist…the one that consists of 18 separate lists of fake English-sounding words…she is done. Well. I am (with good cause, as you will find out) hesitant to say I’m DONE (all caps)…but it sure looks that way. Today, after much much toil…much toil…I put my wordlist into the experiment software and ran into the testing booth and listen to my words in their grown up form.
It seems like yesterday when they were just an Excel spreadsheet. It ~was~ just yesterday that they were being edited and sworn at (I call it their ‘teen years’). And now they’re all growed up and playing in our testing booth ready for little ears to hear.
Honestly…although blase now for my labmates…it was really cool being in that room and hearing all those words I’ve worked so hard on.
ummm…it occurs to me that I maybe ought to explain why the hours and hours and hours of editing. My study consists of 6 lists of words. Each of these lists vary in the frequency of the onset in English – meaning that the beginning sound combination of each words (eg. for a word like play, the sound combination ‘pl’ is the onset. For a word like drive, ‘dr’ is the onset) varies in how regularly you can find it in English. I go from frequent (like ‘pr’ as in pray or prank) to less frequent (like ‘kl’ as in clap or clean) to not at all (like ‘tl’ or ‘dl’ which are not found at the beginnings of words in English…or ‘pt’ ‘bd’ which are not heard at the beginnings of words in English, but they are found at the end in words like ‘kept’ or ‘cubed’…or ‘tk’ ‘pg’ which aren’t heard as part of a ‘cluster‘ in English).
Now, since I had to record myself making these words and some of the onsets I required were not onsets I’ve ever made previous to this study, I was not articulatorily proficient enough to make ‘tl’ and ‘dl’ and ‘pk’ and ‘pg’ (etc) without inserting a schwa where it did not belong. Especially with the ones of the type ‘pg’ because I’ve never even heard them, let alone made them. They were so hard to edit because I don’t know what they’re supposed to sound like.
So, that’s what the editing was about. Making words that were not natural for me sound natural. That took hours…days…weeks. No kidding. It was the longest part of this whole exercise. So far…so far….
The words also needed to be edited for length (within 50ms), length of the space in between, noise…all sorts of stuff. These things had to be edited so that they would not bias the baby who was listening to them.
Okay…so…that’s what I’ve been doing. And since my advisor was encouraging me to get my ass in gear, I wanted it to be done done DONE. I was really really tired of editing. So…now it’s “done”…in quotes because it ain’t over until it’s over.
I have my first baby booked for friday, too. Yay!
So…as is customary to my people, I think I might be getting sick. Having finished the wordlist and put into the experiment software I finally got somethign done that I’ve been working very hard towards for, well, weeks and weeks but the past few days have been a real push and filled with stress.
Then…I got a call from C. He left a message saying that the autobody shop had contacted him (when we were together, he took control over the dealings when the car got backed into, which was much appreciated by a flustered me) and that they wanted more money (of course). Long story short, he’s going to help me pay for it…which is very very kind. Especially since it’s going to cost quite a bit.
I’m hoping now, after a long nap, that I won’t get sick after all.