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Chapter 4

Chapter 4

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Todd Ferretti

Psycholinguistics – Chapter 4  Introduction o study of speech sounds called phonetics o articulatory phonetics refers to how speech sounds are produced o acoustic phonetics refers to the study of the resulting speech sounds o do not process language in a serial manner  structure of speech o two major reasons why speech perception is complex  environmental factors interfere with our listening capacity  auditory or visual signals act as distractions  variability of the speech signal  pitch, volume or rate of speaker  to cope with these reasons, adjustments are made during the course of listening o prosodic factors  also known as suprasegmentals  includes factors like stress, intonation and rate  changing the stress or intonation of word/utterance can change the meaning entirely  stress  emphasis given to syllables in a sentence  corresponds with loudness  use it to distinguish between noun and verb forms of various words, as well as between pairs  project/pervert  black bird/blackbird  intonation  refers to use of pitch to signify different meanings  pitch pattern of sentence  into national contour  intonation only goes up for yes or no questions  pitch emphasize main focus of the sentence  rate  speed at which speech is articulated  modified by changing number or length of pauses in utterances  also conveys meaning  take your time (slower)  we've got to get going (faster)  shows urgency  function words tend to have shorter duration than content words  two is content, to is duration, we'll stress two but not to o articulatory phonetics  study of speech sounds is called phonetics  pronunciation of speech sounds is called articulatory phonetics  speech sounds differ based on air flow from lungs  vowels produced by letting air from lungs in unobstructed manner  consonants produced by impeding airflow at some point  place of articulation  [b]/[p] are bilabial, and articulated at lips  [d]/[t] are alveolar, and are formed when tongue is placed against the alveolar ridge (top of mouth)  [g]/[k] are velar, produced by tongue being placed against the velum at the back of mouth  manner of articulation 1 Psycholinguistics – Chapter 4  stop consonants  obstruct airflow for a period of time then releases it  b, p, d, t, g, k are all examples  fricatives  produced by obstructing without completely stopping airflow  f, s,  passage in mouth becomes narrow  affricate  stoplike closure followed by release similar to fricative  j in judge  ch in church  voicing  glottis  opening between vocal cords  if cords are together, and air pushes through, speech sound is voiced  [b]  if cords are separate, speech sound is voiceless  [p] o acoustic phonetics  if we were to hear a series of recognizable sounds (buzzers, clicks, sirens) at the rate of conversational speech, we would not be able to distinguish between different sounds  only unique to speech perception  must be some unique acoustic property of speech sounds that allow us to do that  study of this is called acoustic phonetics  spectrograms  sound spectrogram  most common way to describe acoustical energy of speech sounds  produced using sound spectrograph  how to read a spectrogram  vertical axis - speech sound frequency  horizontal axis - time  darkness - intensity  dark bands are known as formants  two aspects of formants important in speech perception  formant transitions  large rise or drops in formant frequency that occur over short durations of time  corresponds to consonants  steady rate  stable level between the transitions  corresponds to vowels  parallel transmission  refers to fact that different phonemes of same syllable encoded into speech signal simultaneously  no sharp break between adjacent sounds  we hear the difference, but on spectrograph, there is no difference  context-conditioned variation  describes phenomenon that exact spectrographic appearance of given phone is related to the speech context  manner of articulation  closely related to manner in which syllables are produced 2 Psycholinguistics – Chapter 4  co-articulation  phenomenon of producing more than one speech sound at a given time  prosodic factors add to variability of the speech signal  despite all the different cues, human beings can easily identify a string of speech sounds  perception of isolated speech segments o levels of speech processing  three levels of speech perception processing  auditory level  signal is represented in terms of its frequency, intensity and temporal attributes  phonetic level  identify individual phones by a combination of acoustic cues  formant transitions for example  phonological level  phonetic segment is converted into a phoneme and phonological rules are applied to the sound sequence o speech as a modular system  lack of invariance  no one-to-one correspondence between acoustic cues and perceptual events  speech is a special mode of perception  processing of speech must be unique from perception of other auditory stimuli  speech
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