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Language and Speech

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https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29188748/regional-dialect-perception-across-the-lifespan-identification-and-discrimination
#1
Elizabeth A McCullough, Cynthia G Clopper, Laura Wagner
Although adult listeners can often identify a talker's region of origin based on his or her speech, young children typically fail in dialect perception tasks, and little is known about the development of regional dialect representations from childhood into adulthood. This study explored listeners' understanding of the indexical importance of American English regional dialects across the lifespan. Listeners between 4 and 79 years old in the Midwestern United States heard talkers from the Midland, Northern, Southern, and New England regions in two regional dialect perception tasks: identification and discrimination...
November 1, 2017: Language and Speech
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29119869/information-structure-preferences-in-focus-sensitive-ellipsis-how-defaults-persist
#2
Jesse A Harris, Katy Carlson
We compare the roles of overt accent and default focus marking in processing ellipsis structures headed by focus-sensitive coordinators (such as Danielle couldn't pass the quiz, let alone the final/Kayla). In a small auditory corpus study of radio transcripts, we establish that such structures overwhelmingly occur with contrastive pitch accents on the correlate and remnant ( the quiz and the final, or Danielle and Kayla), and that there is a strong bias to pair the remnant with the most local plausible correlate in production...
November 1, 2017: Language and Speech
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29108462/the-effect-of-clear-speech-on-temporal-metrics-of-rhythm-in-spanish-accented-speakers-of-english
#3
Alison Behrman, Sarah Hargus Ferguson, Ali Akhund, Mariola Moeyaert
This paper presents a comparative analysis of temporal rhythm in native American English talkers and Spanish-accented English talkers producing clear (hyperarticulated) speech and typical, conversational-style speech. Five acoustic measures of comparative vocalic and consonantal interval duration ("temporal metrics") were obtained from speech samples of 40 adult men and women (half native and half Spanish-accented talkers). In conversational-style speech, vocalic-based metrics differed significantly between native and Spanish-accented talkers, consistent with phonotactic differences between the two native languages...
November 1, 2017: Language and Speech
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29105604/effects-of-surprisal-and-entropy-on-vowel-duration-in-japanese
#4
Jason A Shaw, Shigeto Kawahara
Research on English and other languages has shown that syllables and words that contain more information tend to be produced with longer duration. This research is evolving into a general thesis that speakers articulate linguistic units with more information more robustly. While this hypothesis seems plausible from the perspective of communicative efficiency, previous support for it has come mainly from English and some other Indo-European languages. Moreover, most previous studies focus on global effects, such as the interaction of word duration and sentential/semantic predictability...
November 1, 2017: Language and Speech
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29103359/age-related-changes-in-temporal-and-spectral-cue-weights-in-speech
#5
Joseph C Toscano, Charissa R Lansing
Listeners weight acoustic cues in speech according to their reliability, but few studies have examined how cue weights change across the lifespan. Previous work has suggested that older adults have deficits in auditory temporal discrimination, which could affect the reliability of temporal phonetic cues, such as voice onset time (VOT), and in turn, impact speech perception in real-world listening environments. We addressed this by examining younger and older adults' use of VOT and onset F0 (a secondary phonetic cue) for voicing judgments (e...
November 1, 2017: Language and Speech
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29096575/token-frequency-effects-in-homophone-production-an-elicitation-study
#6
Erin Conwell
In natural production, adults differentiate homophones prosodically as a function of the frequency of their intended meaning. This study compares adult and child productions of homophones to determine whether prosodic differentiation of homophones changes over development. Using a picture-based story-completion paradigm, isolated tokens of homophones were elicited from English-learning children and adult native English speakers. These tokens were measured for duration, vowel duration, pitch, pitch range, and vowel quality...
November 1, 2017: Language and Speech
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29058989/unstressed-vowel-reduction-across-majorcan-catalan-dialects-production-and-spoken-word-recognition
#7
Miquel Llompart, Miquel Simonet
This study investigates the production and auditory lexical processing of words involved in a patterned phonological alternation in two dialects of Catalan spoken on the island of Majorca, Spain. One of these dialects, that of Palma, merges /ɔ/ and /o/ as [o] in unstressed position, and it maintains /u/ as an independent category, [u]. In the dialect of Sóller, a small village, speakers merge unstressed /ɔ/, /o/, and /u/ to [u]. First, a production study asks whether the discrete, rule-based descriptions of the vowel alternations provided in the dialectological literature are able to account adequately for these processes: are mergers complete? Results show that mergers are complete with regards to the main acoustic cue to these vowel contrasts, that is, F1...
October 1, 2017: Language and Speech
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29027494/discriminating-non-native-segmental-length-contrasts-under-increased-task-demands
#8
Yuki Asano
The present study examines how vulnerable perception of second language prosody is to increased task demands. German learners of Japanese, German non-learners without exposure to Japanese, and Japanese native listeners were tested in their ability to discriminate consonant length contrasts (compared to vowel length contrasts that served as a control condition). Memory load was increased by a longer inter-stimulus interval (2500 ms compared to 300 ms) and the demand on attention control was enhanced through the addition of the acoustic complexity of the stimuli (i...
October 1, 2017: Language and Speech
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29216813/processing-relationships-between-language-being-spoken-and-other-speech-dimensions-in-monolingual-and-bilingual-listeners
#9
Charlotte R Vaughn, Ann R Bradlow
While indexical information is implicated in many levels of language processing, little is known about the internal structure of the system of indexical dimensions, particularly in bilinguals. A series of three experiments using the speeded classification paradigm investigated the relationship between various indexical and non-linguistic dimensions of speech in processing. Namely, we compared the relationship between a lesser-studied indexical dimension relevant to bilinguals, which language is being spoken (in these experiments, either Mandarin Chinese or English), with: talker identity (Experiment 1), talker gender (Experiment 2), and amplitude of speech (Experiment 3)...
December 2017: Language and Speech
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29216812/separability-of-tones-and-rhymes-in-chinese-speech-perception-evidence-from-perceptual-migrations
#10
Biao Zeng, Sven L Mattys
This study used the perceptual-migration paradigm to explore whether Mandarin tones and syllable rhymes are processed separately during Mandarin speech perception. Following the logic of illusory conjunctions, we calculated the cross-ear migration of tones, rhymes, and their combination in Chinese and English listeners. For Chinese listeners, tones migrated more than rhymes. For English listeners, the opposite pattern was found. The results lend empirical support to autosegmental theory, which claims separability and mobility between tonal and segmental representations...
December 2017: Language and Speech
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29216811/phrase-lengths-and-the-perceived-informativeness-of-prosodic-cues-in-turkish
#11
Nazik Dinçtopal Deniz, Janet Dean Fodor
It is known from previous studies that in many cases (though not all) the prosodic properties of a spoken utterance reflect aspects of its syntactic structure, and also that in many cases (though not all) listeners can benefit from these prosodic cues. A novel contribution to this literature is the Rational Speaker Hypothesis (RSH), proposed by Clifton, Carlson and Frazier. The RSH maintains that listeners are sensitive to possible reasons for why a speaker might introduce a prosodic break: "listeners treat a prosodic boundary as more informative about the syntax when it flanks short constituents than when it flanks longer constituents," because in the latter case the speaker might have been motivated solely by consideration of optimal phrase lengths...
December 2017: Language and Speech
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29216810/effects-of-valence-on-hemispheric-specialization-for-emotion-word-processing
#12
Jennifer M Martin, Jeanette Altarriba
The use of emotion in language is a key element of human interactions and a rich area for cognitive research. The present study examined reactions to words of five types: positive emotion (e.g., happiness), negative emotion (e.g., hatred), positive emotion-laden (e.g., blessing), negative emotion-laden (e.g., prison), and neutral (e.g., chance). Words and nonwords were intermixed in a lexical decision task using hemifield presentation. Results revealed a general left hemisphere advantage. Overall, reaction times for positive words were faster than for negative or neutral words and this effect varied by hemifield of presentation...
December 2017: Language and Speech
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28937301/attentional-modulation-and-individual-differences-in-explaining-the-changing-role-of-fundamental-frequency-in-korean-laryngeal-stop-perception
#13
Eun Jong Kong, Hyunjung Lee
Previous research has shown differential degrees of attention in processing hierarchical linguistic information where higher order cues require greater attention in speech processing. The current study investigated the influence of attentional resources on acoustic cue weightings in speech perception by examining Korean listeners' identifications of the three-way laryngeal stops (tense vs. lax vs. aspirated). Using a dual-task paradigm, we presented 28 adult Korean listeners with identification tasks blocked by no-distractor versus distractor conditions where arithmetic calculations distracted the listeners' speech processing...
September 1, 2017: Language and Speech
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28937300/infants-processing-of-prosodic-cues-electrophysiological-evidence-for-boundary-perception-beyond-pause-detection
#14
Julia Holzgrefe-Lang, Caroline Wellmann, Barbara Höhle, Isabell Wartenburger
Infants as young as six months are sensitive to prosodic phrase boundaries marked by three acoustic cues: pitch change, final lengthening, and pause. Behavioral studies suggest that a language-specific weighting of these cues develops during the first year of life; recent work on German revealed that eight-month-olds, unlike six-month-olds, are capable of perceiving a prosodic boundary on the basis of pitch change and final lengthening only. The present study uses Event-Related Potentials (ERPs) to investigate the neuro-cognitive development of prosodic cue perception in German-learning infants...
September 1, 2017: Language and Speech
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28915784/the-role-of-fundamental-frequency-and-temporal-envelope-in-processing-sentences-with-temporary-syntactic-ambiguities
#15
Victoria Sharpe, Daniel Fogerty, Dirk-Bart den Ouden
Previous experiments have demonstrated the impact of speech prosody on syntactic processing. The present study was designed to examine how listeners use specific acoustic properties of prosody for grammatical interpretation. We investigated the independent contributions of two acoustic properties associated with the pitch and rhythmic properties of speech; the fundamental frequency and temporal envelope, respectively. The effect of degrading these prosodic components was examined by testing listeners' ability to parse early-closure garden-path sentences...
September 2017: Language and Speech
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28915783/prediction-of-agreement-and-phonetic-overlap-shape-sublexical-identification
#16
Andrea E Martin, Philip J Monahan, Arthur G Samuel
The mapping between the physical speech signal and our internal representations is rarely straightforward. When faced with uncertainty, higher-order information is used to parse the signal and because of this, the lexicon and some aspects of sentential context have been shown to modulate the identification of ambiguous phonetic segments. Here, using a phoneme identification task (i.e., participants judged whether they heard [o] or [a] at the end of an adjective in a noun-adjective sequence), we asked whether grammatical gender cues influence phonetic identification and if this influence is shaped by the phonetic properties of the agreeing elements...
September 2017: Language and Speech
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28915782/voicing-assimilation-in-czech-and-slovak-speakers-of-english-interactions-of-segmental-context-language-and-strength-of-foreign-accent
#17
Radek Skarnitzl, Pavel Šturm
This study focuses on voicing assimilation across word boundaries in the speech of second language (L2) users. We compare native speakers of British English to speakers of two West Slavic languages, Czech and Slovak, which, despite their many similarities, differ with respect to voicing assimilation rules. Word-final voicing was analysed in 30 speakers, using the static value of voicing percentage and the voicing profile method. The results of linear mixed-effects modelling suggest an effect of first language (L1) transfer in all L2 English speaker groups, with the tendency to assimilate being correlated with the strength of foreign accent...
September 2017: Language and Speech
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28915781/f2-slope-as-a-perceptual-cue-for-the-front-back-contrast-in-standard-southern-british-english
#18
Kateřina Chládková, Silke Hamann, Daniel Williams, Sam Hellmuth
Acoustic studies of several languages indicate that second-formant (F2) slopes in high vowels have opposing directions (independent of consonantal context): front [iː]-like vowels are produced with a rising F2 slope, whereas back [uː]-like vowels are produced with a falling F2 slope. The present study first reports acoustic measurements that confirm this pattern for the English variety of Standard Southern British English (SSBE), where /uː/ has shifted from the back to the front area of the vowel space and is now realized with higher midpoint F2 values than several decades ago...
September 2017: Language and Speech
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28915780/cognitive-load-reduces-perceived-linguistic-convergence-between-dyads
#19
Jennifer Abel, Molly Babel
Speech convergence is the tendency of talkers to become more similar to someone they are listening or talking to, whether that person is a conversational partner or merely a voice heard repeating words. To elucidate the nature of the mechanisms underlying convergence, this study uses different levels of task difficulty on speech convergence within dyads collaborating on a task. Dyad members had to build identical LEGO® constructions without being able to see each other's construction, and with each member having half of the instructions required to complete the construction...
September 2017: Language and Speech
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28915779/relative-salience-of-speech-rhythm-and-speech-rate-on-perceived-foreign-accent-in-a-second-language
#20
Leona Polyanskaya, Mikhail Ordin, Maria Grazia Busa
We investigated the independent contribution of speech rate and speech rhythm to perceived foreign accent. To address this issue we used a resynthesis technique that allows neutralizing segmental and tonal idiosyncrasies between identical sentences produced by French learners of English at different proficiency levels and maintaining the idiosyncrasies pertaining to prosodic timing patterns. We created stimuli that (1) preserved the idiosyncrasies in speech rhythm while controlling for the differences in speech rate between the utterances; (2) preserved the idiosyncrasies in speech rate while controlling for the differences in speech rhythm between the utterances; and (3) preserved the idiosyncrasies both in speech rate and speech rhythm...
September 2017: Language and Speech
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