NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED525419
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 165
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1244-6889-1
Integrating Linguistic, Motor, and Perceptual Information in Language Production
Frank, Austin F.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Rochester
Speakers show remarkable adaptability in updating and correcting their utterances in response to changes in the environment. When an interlocutor raises an eyebrow or the AC kicks on and introduces ambient noise, it seems that speakers are able to quickly integrate this information into their speech plans and adapt appropriately. This ability to update a plan on the fly has been observed in other motor behaviors as well, classically demonstrated in studies of adaptation to prism glasses. Environmental factors aren't the only information sources speakers monitor, though. Speakers also have access to propioceptive feedback from their own articulatory gestures, perceptual feedback as they hear their own voices, and the conceptual and linguistic content of the intended message. How do these information sources get combined during language production to result in an utterance that successfully balances constraints imposed by the environment and cognitive processing with the speaker's communicative goals? I address these issues through several analyses of a study of sensorimotor learning in response to perceptual perturbation. Speakers read single words aloud as prompted by a computer display. During their speech, realtime signal processing is used to measure and adjust the value of the first formant (F1) in the auditory feedback available to the speaker. Due to this perturbation, each speaker heard the sound of the vowel /E/ (as in "bed") as either /I/ ("bid") or /ae/ ("bad"). Previous studies have shown that when exposed to this kind of perturbation, speakers quickly adapt by producing a vowel that has an F1 that is shifted in the opposite direction. The words produced in the present study differed as to whether the target word had a "spoken competitor" or a "heard competitor". If the F1 /E/ is shifted down towards /I/, "bed" will have a "heard competitor" of "bid". To counteract this perturbation, speakers are predicted to adapt by producing a more /ae/-like vowel, resulting in something like "bad". In this example, there is both a "heard competitor" ("bid") and a "spoken competitor" ("bad"). For another word, say "hen", there is neither a spoken nor a heard competitor ("hin" and "han" are non-words). I present results showing the role of lexical competition in both the spoken and heard modalities, including the degree of adaptation during perturbation, the extent of generalization in production post-perturbation, and the influence on word recognition during a lexical decision task. Overall, we find that lexical competition strongly modulates the extent to which a speaker is willing to adapt to the perturbation, with the presence of spoken competitors strongly interfering with changes in the vowels being produced, and heard competitors less so. I make connections between these results, current models of language production, and general models of motor control. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A