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Karin Stromswold

Linguistics Lecture 09/30/13 Review the website and check out the exercises which are meant to help with the material, it is not homework. Last lesson covered lack of invariance as in repeating. The wave form associated with different speech sound can vary tremendously, a male voice vs. a female voice, etc. Coarticulation is when your mouth in pronouncing the /d/ in “deeh” “dah” or “doo” even though they start with the same phoneme, the wave form is very different. The red lines in the powerpoint tell you where the most energy is for the major frequencies. Despite this, we have perceptual constancy since we hear dee/doo as sounding the same. This is one of the mysteries, why do we as humans hear them as being the same thing, even though acoustically they are very different. We don’t know the answer, but there are theories and there is varying data to support them all. Three theories of Speech Perception: Pure Motor Theory of Speech Perception (Lieberman): Speech is perceived based on basic articulatory gestures. This is the purest version, the strongest possibility, the initial early story: Lieberman said that the reason we perceive speech as speech is because we know how to produce speech, and because we know that, when we hear speech we imagine what articulatory gestures we would use and that helps us perceive it. Pure Auditory Theory of Speech Perception: The reason we perceive speech as speech is because that is the way the neurons in our auditory system actually work. Think what do people perceive something as, compared to the acoustic characteristics of that sound. The X axis will represent something about the acoustics, and the y axis will correspond to what we perceive it as. See Phonetic Context chart for reference. S with little V on top of it represents the “Sh” sound in this particular chart. Fricative unvoiced sound, differ on place of articulation. What acoustic feature distinguishes a /s/ from a /sh/ has to do with the frequency of the friction noise. IF it is high, we perceive it one way, if is low we perceive it in a different way. It turns out if frequency is low, most of the time you will perceive it as a /sh/ sound. What is the relationship between the physical characteristics of the acoustic (airwave) and the way you perceive it. If we make the frequency high enough, your perception shifts. See also phonetic context demo recording which will look at how the context in which a sound, what phoneme a sound is sitting next to, how does the neighbor of a sound affect the way you perceive a sound. For example /sah/ vs /sha/ if the vowel is /a/ you are much more likely to say what you heard was a /sh/. If the vowel is /u/ even if the friction noise is kept the same (low), what the vowel is affects what you perceive the consonant as. Cases of an ambiguous syllable; acoustically in the in- between area. Is it /da/ or /ga/? In both cases is the exact acoustic wave. /al/ + ? and /ar/ + ? Phonetic Context: Assimilation and Silent Center Vowel. Can distinguish among words that differ only in vowel, even when the vowel is erased; bag/bug/big/nog. The subtle acoustic characteristics of the /b/ and /g/ are different in the words bag and bug. This is the acoustic equivalent of the coarticulation phenomenon. How does the motor theory and the auditory theory of speech perception explain the phonetic context event? The motor theory says on an unconscious level the way /b/ and /g/ are altered and can understand because the motor gestures are different and that is why they can be perceived as different. The auditory theory claims the acoustic waves are different and that is why we perceive them as being different. This is what people find the most difficult in this class is Categorical perception. Next quiz opens October 3. Language file 9.4 expands on the Traxler book which doesn’t give a good explanation of categorica
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