8th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Antwerp, Belgium
August 27-31, 2007

Prelexical Adjustments to Speaker Idiosyncrasies: Are They Position-Specific?

Alexandra Jesse, James M. McQueen

Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, The Netherlands

Listeners use lexical knowledge to adjust their prelexical representations of speech sounds in response to the idiosyncratic pronunciations of particular speakers. We used an exposure-test paradigm to investigate whether this type of perceptual learning transfers across syllabic positions. No significant learning effect was found in Experiment 1, where exposure sounds were onsets and test sounds were codas. Experiments 2-4 showed that there was no learning even when both exposure and test sounds were onsets. But a trend was found when exposure sounds were codas and test sounds were onsets (Experiment 5). This trend was smaller than the robust effect previously found for the coda-to-coda case. These findings suggest that knowledge about idiosyncratic pronunciations may be position specific: Knowledge about how a speaker produces sounds in one position, if it can be acquired at all, influences perception of sounds in that position more strongly than of sounds in another position.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Jesse, Alexandra / McQueen, James M. (2007): "Prelexical adjustments to speaker idiosyncrasies: are they position-specific?", In INTERSPEECH-2007, 1597-1600.