Kathleen Currie Hall
The Ohio State University

ID 1602
[full paper]

This paper explores the role of familiarity in speech perception. It is argued that “perceptual magnet effects” (the warping of the perceptual space by prototypical exemplars of a category) can be extended to the perception of pairs of sounds. Specifically, a prototypical exemplar of a contrast (that is, an instantiation of a contrast involving prototypical members of the pair) will be more perceptually distinct than a non-prototypical exemplar of the same phonological contrast. Conversely, a prototypical exemplar of an allophonically related pair will be perceptually less distinct than a non-protoypical exemplar of the same pair.