How the tracking of habitual rate influences speech perception
SourceJournal of Experimental Psychology : Learning, Memory and Cognition, 45, 1, (2019), pp. 128-138
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ DCC PL
PI Group Neurobiology of Language
Journal of Experimental Psychology : Learning, Memory and Cognition
Subject110 000 Neurocognition of Language; Psycholinguistics; Language in Interaction
Listeners are known to track statistical regularities in speech. Yet, which temporal cues are encoded is unclear. This study tested effects of talker-specific habitual speech rate and talker-independent average speech rate (heard over a longer period of time) on the perception of the temporal Dutch vowel contrast /ɑ/-/a:/. First, Experiment 1 replicated that slow local (surrounding) speech contexts induce fewer long /a:/ responses than faster contexts. Experiment 2 tested effects of long-term habitual speech rate. A high-rate group listened to ambiguous vowels embedded in "neutral" speech from Talker A, intermixed with fast speech from Talker B. A low-rate group listened to the same neutral speech from Talker A, and/but to Talker B speaking at a slow rate. Between-groups comparison of the neutral trials showed that the high-rate group demonstrated a lower proportion of /a:/ responses, indicating that Talker A's habitual speech rate sounded slower when B was faster. In Experiment 3, both talkers produced speech at both rates, removing the different habitual speech rates of Talkers A and B, while maintaining the average rates differing between groups. In Experiment 3, no global rate effect was observed. Taken together, the present experiments show that a talker's habitual rate is encoded relative to the habitual rate of another talker, carrying implications for episodic and constraint-based models of speech perception.
NWO (Grant code:info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/NWO/Gravitation/024.001.006)
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