Session Phonetic Psycholing. V:

Phonetic Psycholinguistics V: Phonological Variation

Type: oral
Chair: Andrea Weber
Date: Friday - August 10, 2007
Time: 13:20
Room: 6 (Black)


Phonetic Psycholing. V-1 Tracking perception of pronunciation variation by tracking looks to printed words: The case of word-final /t/
Holger Mitterer, Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics
James M. McQueen, Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics
Paper File
  We investigated perception of words with reduced word-final /t/ using an adapted eye-tracking paradigm. Dutch listeners followed spoken instructions to click on printed words which were accompanied on a computer screen by simple shapes (e.g., a circle). Targets were either above or next to their shapes, and the shapes uniquely identified the targets when the spoken forms were ambiguous between words with or without final /t/ (e.g., bult, bump, vs. bul, diploma). Analysis of listeners’ eye-movements revealed, in contrast to earlier results, that listeners use following segmental context when compensating for /t/-reduction. Reflecting that /t/-reduction is more likely to occur before bilabials, listeners were more likely to look at the /t/-final words if the next word’s first segment was bilabial. This result supports models of speech perception in which prelexical phonological processes use segmental context to modulate word recognition.
Phonetic Psycholing. V-2 Morphological encoding via phonological features: From phonetics to grammar
Mathias Scharinger, University of Konstanz
Aditi Lahiri, University of Konstanz
Henning Reetz, University of Frankfurt
Paper File
  What is the best way to account for phonetic surface variants resulting from a productive vowel alternation? How does the lexical representation of such vowels look like? This paper proposes a single representation for the present tense root vowel in German irregular (strong) verb forms which show an alternation between [a]/[ε] and [e]/[i] in the corresponding person/number realizations. The claim is that the alternating vowels do not have a place of articulation feature specification in their underlying form. Evidence for this feature-based approach comes from two crossmodal immediate repetition priming experiments which compare irregular (strong) with regular (weak) verbs. The latter do not have any root vowel alternations.
Phonetic Psycholing. V-3 A psychoacoustic basis for dissimilation: Evidence from Tangkhul Naga
Ryan K. Shosted, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Paper File
  The dissimilation of sequential aspirated obstruents is investigated in Tangkhul Naga. Acoustic, aerodynamic, and perceptual data were gathered to understand the alternation between aspirated and unaspirated prefixes in the verbal morphology of the language. Production data confirm that prefix onsets are aspirated only when the onset of the following syllable is sonorous. Two prefixes may occur in sequence. The traditional account predicts that the first of these will be unaspirated because it precedes an obstruent, not a sonorant. This is confirmed in the production data. However, perceptual data suggest that speakers of the language tend to hear an aspirated consonant in this position. This strengthens the claim that processing of repeated items is difficult and perhaps dispreferred–a psychoacoustic explanation for phenomena such as Grassmann’s Law. This dissimilation pattern is still only perceptual in Tangkhul, but variation in production suggests dissimilation may be emerging at the production level also.

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