Telling others what they want, aspirate

[From Rick Marken (931006.1100)]

Bruce Nevin (Wed 93106 11:49:21 EDT) --

Suppose the subject S is controlling for an isosceles triangle.

T wants to show S that what is being controlled is a categorization of
isosceles vs. scalene.

Spoken like a true linguist. Unlike a linguist, a PCT researcher (T)
doesn't try to convince S of what S is controlling; S convinces T (by
resisting disturbances to hypothesized controlled variables) of what
S is controlling.

By the way, if you actually have the goal of getting people to
agree with your interpretation of what they are _really_
up to (controlling for) then expect disappointment (and a very
small social circle). This is the same thing that annoying clinincal
psychology students (who eventually end up with "no life") are
doing when they come up to people and explain how they really want
to kill their father and run off with their mother. A simple "no
I don't" should suffice but, unfortunately, it usually doesn't.

But this recognition is attainable only if other
categorizations are possible.

Once you have discovered a controlled variable, via the test,
then it doesn't matter whether S and T call it the same thing
or not; T now knows one variable that S is controlling, a fact
that is demonstrated by T's ability to predict S's response to
every disturbance to that variable.

The "pair test" reveals that "sbin" is not heard as different from
what S wants to hear when S want to hear "spin". That's all we
learn from that test.

What I am referring to
here is the way Rick and Bill identify the phoneme p as a particular
sound, and then (against perceptual input that is accessible to them)
assert that this is the sound that occurs in "spin", and that it is the
substitution of b in "sbin" that is anomalous.

The p in "spin" may be quite unlike the p in "pin". That doesn't matter
in this test; the pair test just shows that "sbin" is treated the same
as "spin" and "pin" is treated as different than "bin"; it doesn't say
why.

Martin Taylor (931006 12:10)--

What this shows is that the perception of aspiration is irrelevant to
the perception of the WORD, not that aspiration is uncontrolled when the
word is spoken.

Yes. And I like your suggested test. What I should have said is that the
auditory consequences of aspirating while saying "spin" are apparently
irrelevant to perceiving the word "spin" -- but it is possible that the
vocal articulations that produce that consequence are under control.

Best

Rick