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Auditory contrast versus compensation for coarticulation: data from Japanese and English listeners.

Authors
  • Kingston, John
  • Kawahara, Shigeto
  • Mash, Daniel
  • Chambless, Della
Type
Published Article
Journal
Language and speech
Publication Date
Dec 01, 2011
Volume
54
Issue
Pt 4
Pages
499–525
Identifiers
PMID: 22338789
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

English listeners categorize more of a [k-t] continuum as "t" after [character: see text] than [s] (Mann & Repp, 1981). This bias could be due to compensation for coarticulation (Mann & Repp, 1981) or auditory contrast between the fricatives and the stops (Lotto & Kluender, 1998). In Japanese, surface [[character: see text]k, [character: see text] t, sk, st] clusters arise via palatalization and vowel devoicing from /sik, sit, suk, sut/, and acoustic vestiges of the devoiced vowels remain in the fricative. On the one hand, compensation for coarticulation with the devoiced vowel would cancel out compensation for coarticulation with the fricative, and listeners would not show any response bias. On the other hand, if the stop contrasts spectrally with the fricative, listeners should respond "t" more often after [[character: see text] i] than [s[character: see text]]. Experiment I establishes that [k] and [t] coarticulate with preceding voiced [i, u], voiceless [[character: see text], [character: see text]], and [[character: see text], s]. Experiment 2 shows that both Japanese and English listeners respond "t" more often after [characters: see text] than [s[character: see text]], as predicted by auditory contrast. English listeners' "t" responses also varied after voiced vowels, but those of Japanese listeners did not. Experiment 3 shows that this difference reflects differences in their phonetic experience.

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