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Author Li, David Cheng-Huan
Title Investigating the production and perception of reduced speech [electronic resource] : A cross-linguistic look at articulatory coproduction and compensation for coarticulation
book jacket
Descript 1 online resource
Note Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 76-03(E), Section: A
Adviser: Elsi Kaiser
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Southern California, 2014
The pronunciation of a word in continuous speech is often reduced, different from when it is spoken in isolation. Speech reduction reflects a fundamental property of spoken language--the movements of articulators can overlap in time, also known as coarticulation. A large number of experimental findings supports the role of articulatory coproduction as the underlying mechanism in speech production (e.g., Bell-Berti and Harris, 1981; Browman & Goldstein, 1986; Fowler, 1977). However, on the perception side, prior research has not specifically examined the role of articulatory overlap or the nature of the relation between production and perception. Given the central role of articulatory overlap in speech production, this dissertation set out to address the question of whether we can make use of the notion of articulatory coproduction in order to take steps towards building a unified theory for how reduced speech is both produced and perceived. To examine whether such a unified account exists, we investigated the following primary questions: (i) in the production of reduced speech, can we find additional evidence that alternative pronunciations of words can be attributed to coproduction of articulation, (ii) how does the perception system deal with coproduction information from preceding words (i.e., global cues from prior context) as well as at the critical word during real-time word recognition, (iii) what is the relationship between the degree of articulatory overlap (in the speaker's output) and word recognition (by the listener), and (iv) how do nonnative speakers process coarticulation information associated with coproduction of articulation. My investigation of Mandarin syllable contraction (Experiment 1) shows that coproduction of articulation can lead to reduction in the production process. Turning our attention to the perception side and to English coronal place assimilation, we found that listeners compensate more for assimilation in a fast-speech context, which is associated with greater extent of reduction, than in a slow-speech context (Experiment 2). We also showed that the degree of articulatory overlap in a speaker's output is correlated with listener's word recognition (Experiment 3). After investigating how native English speakers compensate for assimilation on the basis of speech rate, we then investigated whether nonnative English speakers who are native Mandarin speakers process coarticulatory information in the same way as the native speakers (Experiment 4). We found that for adult L1 Mandarin learners who speak English as a L2, they can compensate for assimilation like the L1 speakers but do so with a delay. This dissertation has also presented a new methodology (Experiment 3) in studying of the link between production and perception, where we directly measured the degree of articulatory overlap via electromagnetic articulography (EMA) and correlate it with the perceptual measure of eye-movements
School code: 0208
Host Item Dissertation Abstracts International 76-03A(E)
Subject Linguistics
Alt Author University of Southern California. Linguistics
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