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Can lexical knowledge modulate prelexical representations over time?
Mcqueen, J.M., NORRIS, D.G. & Cutler, A.C.
Proceedings of the workshop on speech recognition as pattern classification, Nijmegen, 11-13th July 2001, 9-14
Year of publication:
The results of a study on perceptual learning are reported. Dutch subjects made lexical decisions on a list of words and nonwords. Embedded in the list were either [f]- or [s]-final words in which the final fricative had been replaced by an ambiguous sound, midway between [f] and [s]. One group of listeners heard ambiguous [f]-final Dutch words like [kara?] (based on karaf, carafe) and unambiguous [s]-final words (e.g., karkas, carcase). A second group heard the reverse (e.g., ambiguous [karka?] and unambiguous karaf). After this training phase, listeners labelled ambiguous fricatives on an [f]-[s] continuum. The subjects who had heard [?] in [f]-final words categorised these fricatives as [f] reliably more often than those who had heard [?] in [s]-final words. These results suggest that speech recognition is dynamic: the system adjusts to the constraints of each particular listening situation. The lexicon can provide this adjustment process with a training signal.