Friday, April 17, 2015
3:30 PM, 215 Tolentine Hall
Speech perception despite signal variability: An unsolved puzzle
Despite over half a century of research, the question of how listeners demonstrate robust speech perception despite a widely varying acoustic speech signal remains unanswered. In this talk, I will illustrate this issue by focusing on a central source of signal variability - one that occurs due to speakers’ coarticulation. I will discuss differing explanations of how listeners compensate for coarticulation during speech perception from two prominent theoretical perspectives. Then, I will describe a series of studies that attempt to dissociate these competing explanations. I will discuss implications of these studies both for accounts of compensation for coarticulation as well as more generally for theories of speech perception. Finally, I will briefly describe ongoing projects that investigate other sources of signal variability (due to speaking rate changes and cross-linguistic differences) that are pertinent to the signal variability puzzle.