ERIC Number: EJ810135
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Sep
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
Talker Adaptation in Speech Perception: Adjusting the Signal or the Representations?
Dahan, Delphine; Drucker, Sarah J.; Scarborough, Rebecca A.
Cognition, v108 n3 p710-718 Sep 2008
Past research has established that listeners can accommodate a wide range of talkers in understanding language. How this adjustment operates, however, is a matter of debate. Here, listeners were exposed to spoken words from a speaker of an American English dialect in which the vowel /ae/ is raised before /g/, but not before /k/. Results from two experiments showed that listeners' identification of /k/-final words like "back" (which are unaffected by the dialect) was facilitated by prior exposure to their dialect-affected /g/-final counterparts, e.g., "bag". This facilitation occurred because the competition between interpretations, e.g., "bag" or "back", while hearing the initial portion of the input [bae], was mitigated by the reduced probability for the input to correspond to "bag" as produced by this talker. Thus, adaptation to an accent is not just a matter of adjusting the speech signal as it is being heard; adaptation involves dynamic adjustment of the representations stored in the lexicon, according to the characteristics of the speaker or the context. (Contains 3 figures.)
Descriptors: Dialects, Auditory Perception, Probability, North American English, Experiments, Vowels, Pronunciation
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
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