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Language and Speech

Amandine Michelas, Cristel Portes, Maud Champagne-Lavau
Recent studies on a variety of languages have shown that a speaker's commitment to the propositional content of his or her utterance can be encoded, among other strategies, by pitch accent types. Since prior research mainly relied on lexical-stress languages, our understanding of how speakers of a non-lexical-stress language encode speaker commitment is limited. This paper explores the contribution of the last pitch accent of an intonation phrase to convey speaker commitment in French, a language that has stress at the phrasal level as well as a restricted set of pitch accents...
June 2016: Language and Speech
Helen Buckler, Paula Fikkert
The voicing contrast is neutralized syllable and word finally in Dutch and German, leading to alternations within the morphological paradigm (e.g., Dutch 'bed(s)', be[t]-be[d]en, German 'dog(s)', Hun[t]-Hun[d]e). Despite structural similarity, language-specific morphological, phonological and lexical properties impact on the distribution of this alternation in the two languages. Previous acquisition research has focused on one language only, predominantly focusing on children's production accuracy, concluding that alternations are not acquired until late in the acquisition process in either language...
June 2016: Language and Speech
Linda Jose, Jennifer Read, Nick Miller
Neurogenic foreign accent syndrome (FAS) is diagnosed when listeners perceive speech associated with motor speech impairments as foreign rather than disordered. Speakers with foreign accent syndrome typically have aphasia. It remains unclear how far language changes might contribute to the perception of foreign accent syndrome independent of accent. Judges with and without training in language analysis rated orthographic transcriptions of speech from people with foreign accent syndrome, speech-language disorder and no foreign accent syndrome, foreign accent without neurological impairment and healthy controls on scales of foreignness, normalness and disorderedness...
June 2016: Language and Speech
Chris Davis, Colin Schoknecht, Jeesun Kim, Denis Burnham
Three naming aloud experiments and a lexical decision (LD) experiment used masked priming to index the processing of written Thai vowels and tones. Thai allows for manipulation of the mapping between orthography and phonology not possible in other orthographies, for example, the use of consonants, vowels and tone markers in both horizontal and vertical orthographic positions (HOPs and VOPs). Experiment I showed that changing a vowel between prime and target slowed down target naming but changing a tone mark did not...
June 2016: Language and Speech
James Sneed German, Mariapaola D'Imperio
This study addresses the relationship between information structure and intonation in French. Using an interactive speech production experiment, it tests the hypothesis that the French initial rise (LHi) is used to mark the left edge of a contrastively focused constituent. Since the occurrence of the initial rise is also known to be sensitive to the length of an Accentual Phrase (AP), AP length was manipulated within the same experiment in a 2 x 2 design. This made it possible to explore the issue of whether the initial rise represents a true marker of focus in the traditional sense, or whether the association is less direct...
June 2016: Language and Speech
Daniel Recasens
Abstract This study uses acoustic energy measures for /b, d, g/ after /f, s, ∫, l, r/ in Catalan in order to test whether postconsonantal voiced stop lenition is ruled by minimization of articulatory effort, acoustico-perceptual continuity of an ongoing prosodic constituent or some other principle of articulatory organization. Data for eight speakers reveal that lenition is more prone to operate on /g/ than on /b, d/, after a sonorant than after a fricative, and when the two cluster consonants are heterorganic than when they are (quasi)-homorganic...
March 2016: Language and Speech
David Roberts, Stephen L Walter, Keith Snider
The experiment reported here tests the Lexical Orthography Hypothesis, that is, the notion that the output of the lexical phonology is the most promising phonological depth for an exhaustive representation of tone by means of diacritics in the orthography of atone language. We conducted a controlled classroom experiment with 97 secondary school pupils learning written Kabiye, a Gur language of northern Togo. After testing their baseline skills in writing the standard orthography, the pupils participated in an eleven-hour transition course spread over three weeks in four parallel groups: DEEP (an experimental orthography representing the input of the lexical phonology), LEXICAL (representing the output of the lexical phonology), PHONEMIC (representing a level between the output of the lexical phonology and the output of the post-lexical phonology), and a control group...
March 2016: Language and Speech
Sandra Kotzor, Allison Wetterlin, Adam C Roberts, Aditi Lahiri
Six cross-modal lexical decision tasks with priming probed listeners' processing of the geminate-singleton contrast in Bengali, where duration alone leads to phonemic contrast ([pata] 'leaf' vs. [pat:a] 'whereabouts'), in order to investigate the phonological representation of consonantal duration in the lexicon. Four form-priming experiments (auditory fragment primes and visual targets) were designed to investigate listeners' sensitivity to segments of conflicting duration. Each prime derived from a real word ([k(h)[symbol: see text]m]/[g(h)en:]) was matched with a mispronunciation of the opposite duration (*[k(h)[symbol: see text]m:]/*[g(h)en]) and both were used to prime the full words [k(h)[symbol: see text]ma] ('forgiveness') and [g(h)en:a] ('disgust') respectively...
March 2016: Language and Speech
Seth Wiener, Rory Turnbull
Previous studies have shown that when speakers of European languages are asked to turn nonwords into words by altering either a vowel or consonant, they tend to treat vowels as more mutable than consonants. These results inspired the universal vowel mutability hypothesis: listeners learn to cope with vowel variability because vowel information constrains lexical selection less tightly and allows for more potential candidates than does consonant information. The present study extends the word reconstruction paradigm to Mandarin Chinese--a Sino-Tibetan language, which makes use of lexically contrastive tone...
March 2016: Language and Speech
Eric Hoekstra, Arjen Versloot
Abstract Interference Frisian (IF) is a variety of Frisian, spoken by mostly younger speakers, which is heavily influenced by Dutch. IF exhibits all six logically possible word orders in a cluster of three verbs. This phenomenon has been researched by Koeneman and Postma (2006), who argue for a parameter theory, which leaves frequency differences between various orders unexplained. Rejecting Koeneman and Postma's parameter theory, but accepting their conclusion that Dutch (and Frisian) data are input for the grammar of IF, we will argue that the word order preferences of speakers of IF are determined by frequency and similarity...
March 2016: Language and Speech
Trevor Johnston, Jane van Roekel, Adam Schembri
This study investigates the conventionalization of mouth actions in Australian Sign Language. Signed languages were once thought of as simply manual languages because the hands produce the signs which individually and in groups are the symbolic units most easily equated with the words, phrases and clauses of spoken languages. However, it has long been acknowledged that non-manual activity, such as movements of the body, head and the face play a very important role. In this context, mouth actions that occur while communicating in signed languages have posed a number of questions for linguists: are the silent mouthings of spoken language words simply borrowings from the respective majority community spoken language(s)? Are those mouth actions that are not silent mouthings of spoken words conventionalized linguistic units proper to each signed language, culturally linked semi-conventional gestural units shared by signers with members of the majority speaking community, or even gestures and expressions common to all humans? We use a corpus-based approach to gather evidence of the extent of the use of mouth actions in naturalistic Australian Sign Language-making comparisons with other signed languages where data is available--and the form/meaning pairings that these mouth actions instantiate...
March 2016: Language and Speech
Susannah V Levi
The current study examined whether fine-grained phonetic detail (voice onset time (VOT)) of one segment (/p/ or /k/) generalizes to a different segment (/t/) within the same natural class. Two primes were constructed to exploit the natural variation of VOT: a velar stop followed by a high vowel (keen) resulting in a naturally long VOT and a labial stop followed by a low vowel (pan) resulting in a naturally shorter VOT. Two experiments were conducted, one in which the speakers produced both the prime and the target, and a second in which the speakers heard the primes and then produced the targets...
December 2015: Language and Speech
Ariel M Cohen-Goldberg
Phonological theories differ as to whether phonological knowledge is abstract (e.g., phonemic), concrete (e.g., exemplar-based), or some combination of the two. The abstractness/concreteness of phonological knowledge was examined by analyzing the process of /r/-sandhi in two corpora of spoken English. Two predictions of exemplar-based theories were examined: the extent to which a word manifests a particular sound pattern like /r/-deletion should be influenced by (1) its lexical frequency and (2) its distribution in the language with respect to the sound pattern's conditioning environment...
December 2015: Language and Speech
Kevin B McGowan
Listeners' use of social information during speech perception was investigated by measuring transcription accuracy of Chinese-accented speech in noise while listeners were presented with a congruent Chinese face, an incongruent Caucasian face, or an uninformative silhouette. When listeners were presented with a Chinese face they transcribed more accurately than when presented with the Caucasian face. This difference existed both for listeners with a relatively high level of experience and for listeners with a relatively low level of experience with Chinese-accented English...
December 2015: Language and Speech
Willemijn F L Heeren, Sarah A Bibyk, Christine Gunlogson, Michael K Tanenhaus
We introduce a targeted language game approach using the visual world, eye-movement paradigm to assess when and how certain intonational contours affect the interpretation of utterances. We created a computer-based card game in which elliptical utterances such as "Got a candy" occurred with a nuclear contour most consistent with a yes-no question (H* H-H%) or a statement (L* L-L%). In Experiment I we explored how such contours are integrated online. In Experiment 2 we studied the expectations listeners have for how intonational contours signal intentions: do these reflect linguistic categories or rapid adaptation to the paradigm? Prosody had an immediate effect on interpretation, as indexed by the pattern and timing of fixations...
December 2015: Language and Speech
Sun-Ah Jun, Jason Bishop
Using the structural priming paradigm, the present study explores predictions made by the implicit prosody hypothesis (IPH) by testing whether an implicit prosodic boundary generated from a silently read sentence influences attachment preference for a novel, subsequently read sentence. Results indicate that such priming does occur, as evidenced by an effect on relative clause attachment. In particular, priming an implicit boundary directly before a relative clause--cued by commas in orthography--encouraged high attachment of that relative clause, although the size of the effect depended somewhat on individual differences in pragmatic/communication skills (as measured by the Autism Spectrum Quotient)...
December 2015: Language and Speech
Xiuli Tong, Xiuhong Tong, Catherine McBride-Chang
Lexical tone is one of the most prominent features in the phonological representation of words in Chinese. However, little, if any, research to date has directly evaluated how young Chinese children's lexical tone identification skills contribute to vocabulary acquisition and character recognition. The present study distinguished lexical tones from segmental phonological awareness and morphological awareness in order to estimate the unique contribution of lexical tone in early vocabulary acquisition and character recognition...
December 2015: Language and Speech
Heather Kember, Karen Croot, Ellis Patrick
Models of connected speech production in Mandarin Chinese must specify how lexical tone, speech segments, and phrase-level prosody are integrated in speech production. This study used tongue twisters to test predictions of the two different models of word form encoding. Tongue twisters were constructed from 5 sets of characters that rotated pairs of initial segments or pairs of tones, or both, across format (ABAB, ABBA), and across position of the characters in four-character tongue twister strings. Fifty two native Mandarin Chinese speakers read aloud 120 tongue twisters, repeating each one six times in a row...
December 2015: Language and Speech
Tomas O Lentz, René W J Kager
Probabilistic phonotactic knowledge facilitates perception, but categorical phonotactic illegality can cause misperceptions, especially of non-native phoneme combinations. If misperceptions induced by first language (L1) knowledge filter second language input, access to second language (L2) probabilistic phonotactics is potentially blocked for L2 acquisition. The facilitatory effects of L2 probabilistic phonotactics and categorical filtering effects of L1 phonotactics were compared and contrasted in a series of cross-modal priming experiments...
September 2015: Language and Speech
Daniel R McCloy, Richard A Wright, Pamela E Souza
This study investigates the relative effects of talker-specific variation and dialect-based variation on speech intelligibility. Listeners from two dialects of American English performed speech-in-noise tasks with sentences spoken by talkers of each dialect. An initial statistical model showed no significant effects for either talker or listener dialect group, and no interaction. However, a mixed-effects regression model including several acoustic measures of the talker's speech revealed a subtle effect of talker dialect once the various acoustic dimensions were accounted for...
September 2015: Language and Speech
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