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

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003

The Impact of Partial Phonological Contrast on Speech Perception

Elizabeth Hume, Keith Johnson

Ohio State University, USA

In this paper, we consider the perceptual consequences of phonological contrast, a topic that has been of interest to both phonologists and speech perception researchers for some time. Drawing on perception data on Mandarin tone, we illustrate the impact of partial contrast on native and non-native speech perception. Partial contrast results when an otherwise contrastive pair of elements is neutralized in some context. We conclude that perceptual distinctiveness is a function of phonological contrast and that partial contrast reduces perceptual distinctiveness for native listeners.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Hume, Elizabeth / Johnson, Keith (2003): "The impact of partial phonological contrast on speech perception", In ICPhS-15, 2385-2388.