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This study investigated whether adaptations made in clear speaking styles result in more discriminable phonetic categories than in a casual style. Multiple iterations of keywords with word-initial /s/-/ʃ/ were obtained from 40 adults in casual and clear speech via picture description. For centroids, cross-category distance increased in clear speech but with no change in within-category dispersion and no effect on discriminability. However, talkers produced fewer tokens with centroids in the ambiguous region for the /s/-/ʃ/ distinction. These results suggest that, whereas interlocutor feedback regarding communicative success may promote greater segmental adaptations, it is not necessary for some adaptation to occur.


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