14th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-14)

San Francisco, CA, USA
August 1-7, 1999

Recovering Missing Phonetic Information from Allophonic Variation

Christine Meunier

Laboratoire Parole et Langage, CNRS ESA 6057, Aix-en-Provence, France

It is well known now that speech chain is not constituted by discrete units. Speech sounds have an influence on other sounds directly in contact with them. We hypothesize that this influence is not noise but plays an important role for perception. To test this hypothesis, a particular case of allophonic variation (liquid devoicing in unvoiced context) is tested. We predict that this variation could be used by listeners as far as it is robust cue. Two perceptual experiments (forced choice and phoneme monitoring) are managed to evaluate the role of allophonic variation for speech perception when expected phonetic information is missing. The results confirm our hypotheses that allophonic variations (devoiced liquids) are used as predominant cues by subjects to identify contextual phonemes.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Meunier, Christine (1999): "Recovering missing phonetic information from allophonic variation", In ICPhS-14, 845-848.