15th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

September 14-18, 2014

Consonant Context Effects on Vowel Sensorimotor Adaptation

Jeff Berry, John Jaeger IV, Melissa Wiedenhoeft, Brittany Bernal, Michael T. Johnson

Marquette University, USA

Speech sensorimotor adaptation is the short-term learning of modified articulator movements evoked through sensory-feedback perturbations. A common experimental method manipulates acoustic parameters, such as formant frequencies, using real time resynthesis of the participant's speech to perturb auditory feedback. While some studies have examined phrases comprised of vowels, diphthongs, and semivowels, the bulk of research on auditory feedback-driven sensorimotor adaptation has focused on vowels in neutral contexts (/hVd/). The current study investigates coarticulatory influences of adjacent consonants on sensorimotor adaptation. The purpose is to evaluate differences in the adaptation effects for vowels in consonant environments that vary by place and manner of articulation. In particular, we addressed the hypothesis that contexts with greater intra-articulator coarticulation and more static articulatory postures (alveolars and fricatives) offer greater resistance to vowel adaptation than contexts with primarily inter-articulator coarticulation and more dynamic articulatory patterns (bilabials and stops). Participants completed formant perturbation-driven vowel adaptation experiments for varying CVCs. Results from discrete formant measures at the vowel midpoint were generally consistent with the hypothesis. Analyses of more complete formant trajectories suggest that adaptation can also (or alternatively) influence formant onsets, offsets, and transitions, resulting in complex formant pattern changes that may reflect modifications to consonant articulation.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Berry, Jeff / IV, John Jaeger / Wiedenhoeft, Melissa / Bernal, Brittany / Johnson, Michael T. (2014): "Consonant context effects on vowel sensorimotor adaptation", In INTERSPEECH-2014, 2006-2010.