Production and perception of speaker-specific phonetic detail at word boundaries

Smith, R. and Hawkins, S. (2012) Production and perception of speaker-specific phonetic detail at word boundaries. Journal of Phonetics, 40(2), pp. 213-233. (doi: 10.1016/j.wocn.2011.11.003)

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Experiments show that learning about familiar voices affects speech processing in many tasks. However, most studies focus on isolated phonemes or words and do not explore which phonetic properties are learned about or retained in memory. This work investigated inter-speaker phonetic variation involving word boundaries, and its perceptual consequences. A production experiment found significant variation in the extent to which speakers used a number of acoustic properties to distinguish junctural minimal pairs e.g. 'So he diced them'—'So he'd iced them'. A perception experiment then tested intelligibility in noise of the junctural minimal pairs before and after familiarisation with a particular voice. Subjects who heard the same voice during testing as during the familiarisation period showed significantly more improvement in identification of words and syllable constituents around word boundaries than those who heard different voices. These data support the view that perceptual learning about the particular pronunciations associated with individual speakers helps listeners to identify syllabic structure and the location of word boundaries.

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:perceptual learning, segmentation, word boundaries, phonetic detail, individual speech style, allophone
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Smith, Dr Rachel
Authors: Smith, R., and Hawkins, S.
College/School:College of Arts & Humanities > School of Critical Studies > English Language and Linguistics
Journal Name:Journal of Phonetics
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2012 Elsevier
First Published:First published in Journal of Phonetics 40(2):213-233
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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