Perceptual integration of acoustic cues for stop, fricative, and affricate manner

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Introducing a short interval of silence between the words say and shop causes listeners to hear say chop. Another cue for the fricative-affricate distinction is the duration of the fricative noise in shop (chop). Varying both these temporal cues orthogonally in a sentence context (Exp I, 7 undergraduates) showed that, within limits, they were perceived in relation to each other: The shorter the duration of the noise, the shorter the silence necessary to convert the fricative into an affricate. When the rate of articulation of the sentence frame was increased while holding noise duration constant, a longer silent interval was needed to hear an affricate. In Exp II, varying noise and silence durations in gray ship demonstrated that given sufficient silence, listeners reported gray chip when the noise was short but great ship when it was long. Repeating the experiment with great ship as the original utterance, the same pattern of results was obtained, together with only a moderate increase in great responses. In all such cases, the listeners integrated a numerous, diverse, and temporally distributed set of acoustic cues into a unitary phonetic percept. These several cues have in common only that they are the products of a unitary articulatory act. (22 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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