Session Perception IV:

Perception IV: Vowels

Type: oral
Chair: Bernd Pompino-Marschall
Date: Thursday - August 09, 2007
Time: 09:00
Room: 4 (Green)


Perception IV-1 An Exemplar-Based Model of Chain Shifts
Marc Ettlinger, University of California, Berkeley
Paper File
  Explanations for historical chain shifts tend towards the teleological using abstract ideas like balance and equilibrium as the organizing principles of a language’s sounds. This paper investigates whether there are more basic phonetic principles governing the behavior of sound categories with respect to one another. Using a computational simulation of agents communicating with each other, I show that vowel chain shifts fall out naturally from an exemplar-based model of sounds. This suggests that no overarching teleological mechanisms are required to account for chain shifts and that the self-organizing behavior of exemplar-based categories provides an adequate explanation.
Robert Allen Fox, Speech Perception and Acoustics Labs, Ohio State
Ewa Jacewicz, Speech Perception and Acoustics Labs, Ohio State
Chiung-Yun Chang, Speech Perception and Acoustics Labs, Ohio State
Paper File
  This study examines the potential role of the auditory spectral integration in phonetic vowel quality decisions. Synthetic stimuli included a “virtual formant (F2)” which was produced by inserting two pairs of sine waves below and above a “perceptual target frequency” (the spectral center-of-gravity, COG). Intensity weighting across the pairs of sine waves created a virtual F2, i.e., an F2 percept which listeners formed although the formant was not physically present in the signal. Two different vowel series containing a virtual F2 were created by varying the intensity weightings of the sine wave pairs. The patterns of vowel identification decisions were similar with either the actual or virtual F2. The results are interpreted as evidence that the auditory system performs spectral integration across spectral components and can extract formant frequency information which in fact is not present in vowel spectrum
Juhani Järvikivi, University of Turku
Daniel Aalto, Helsinki University of Technology
Reijo Aulanko, University of Helsinki
Martti Vainio, University of Helsinki
Paper File
  A two-alternative forced-choice categorization experiment (2AFC) tested whether the type of tone (static high vs. dynamic fall) affected the perception of the length of a stressed initial syllable in Finnish, when the participants had to categorize it as “short” or “long”. In addition to the main effects of the duration of the first and second syllables, the results showed a significant main effect of tone that was qualified by an interaction with the duration of the first syllable nuclei. More precisely, the participants were ceteris paribus more likely to categorize the vowel of the first syllable as “long” in the dynamic fall condition than the high tone condition. The results showed that, alongside with duration, also the tonal structure is used as a strong perceptual cue for the quantity opposition in Finnish.

Back to Conference Schedule