Context Effects in Recognizing Syllable-Final /z/ and /s/ in Different Phrasal Positions
Annual rept. no. 1, 15 Jun 1987-15 Jun 1988
HARVARD UNIV CAMBRIDGE MA
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Two experiments are reported that use gating methods to examine the role of non-semantic aspects of sentential context in the recognition of phonetic segments. Performance in recognizing syllable-final s and z improves when the syllables are presented to listeners in sentential context as compared to when they are presented in isolation. It appears that listeners are able to use sentential information in order to factor out prosodically based variations in the temporal characteristics of speech in order to more accurately interpret durational cues to segment identity. These findings extend previous results on rate-dependent processing of overall speaking rate to the processing of local speaking rate, and they provide further demonstration of the importance of extended phonetic context in speech recognition. Keywords Speech perception psychology Human hearing performance.