15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-15)

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003

The Notion of Perceptual Distance: The Case of Afro-Asiatic Languages

Julien Meyer, François Pellegrino, Melissa Barkat-Defradas, Fanny Meunier

DDL-CNRS/Université Lumière Lyon 2, France

This study investigates the notion of perceptual distance among the Afro-Asiatic family. It is based on a "same/different" task involving French subjects and items from 10 languages or dialects (8 Afro-Asiatic: Amharic, Moroccan Arabic, Jordanian Arabic, Tarifit Berber, Touareg Berber, Hausa, Hebrew, Somali and 2 intruders: Armenian and Turkish). The task was judged very difficult by the subjects. Preliminary results seem to indicate that both segmental and suprasegmental features are involved in the discrimination process, and especially broad phonotactics and syllable structure.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Meyer, Julien / Pellegrino, François / Barkat-Defradas, Melissa / Meunier, Fanny (2003): "The notion of perceptual distance: the case of Afro-Asiatic languages", In ICPhS-15, 1401-1404.