Session Perception I:

Perception I: Incomplete Neutralisation

Type: oral
Chair: Michel Scheffers
Date: Monday - August 06, 2007
Time: 11:00
Room: 4 (Green)


Perception I-1 Evidence of /l/-/r/ contrast in Korean
Joe Eun Kim, University College London
Paper File
  This paper reports an investigation of the nature of allophonic variation in the single liquid phoneme of standard Korean. Alveolar tap and alveolar lateral allophones are in strict complementation, and an intervocalic length contrast of singleton tap vs. geminate lateral also arises on the surface. These are sometimes cited as reasons Koreans do better at the English /l/-/r/ distinction than other learners who similarly lack an underlying L1 contrast. To investigate native perception of the two intervocalic possibilities, waveform editing was used to eliminate the duration difference between geminate laterals and singleton taps in recordings of natural speech. In a forced-choice test, all listeners identify the edited stimuli as containing the lateral (90.5% identification rate), suggesting that duration is not a deciding factor in identification. Instead, Korean L1 speakers appear sensitive to non-durational differences, and thus effectively have a latent /l/-/r/ contrast.
Cynthia Kilpatrick, University of California, San Diego
Ryan K. Shosted, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Amalia Arvaniti, University of California, San Diego
Paper File
  The perception of American English epenthetic and underlying stops (as in prin[t]ce~prints) was examined in a forced-choice identification experiment that controlled for word frequency and familiarity, closure duration and presence of burst. Previous production data have shown durational differences between epenthetic and underlying [t]. The present results support this generalization, but only for familiar words: listeners appear more sensitive to distinctions between short and long closure durations, tending to categorize those with short duration as “nce” words.
Charalampos Karypidis, LPP - UMR 7018, CNRS / Université de la Sorbonne Nouvelle - Paris 3
Paper File
  In this paper, we examine the presentation order effect in the light of the neutralization hypothesis, according to which the first vowel in a pair decays, during its storing in memory, toward [er]. 12 French listeners participated in three AB discrimination sessions. For each phonetic category, a prototype and four satellite tokens were synthesized, each paired with the prototype. Results revealed minor or major order effects in the interior of every phonetic category. Nonetheless, the neutralization hypothesis could not account for at least half of these asymmetries. An explanation justifying nearly all order effects is proposed, sustaining that the periphery of the vowel space serves as a reference area triggering a contrast effect.

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