Sources of illusion in consonant cluster perception

Lisa Davidson, Jason A. Shaw

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Previous studies have shown that listeners have difficulty discriminating between non-native CC sequences and licit alternatives (e.g. Japanese [ebzo]-[ebuzo], English [bnif]-[beschwanif]) (Berent et al., 2007; Dupoux et al., 1999). Some have argued that the difficulty in distinguishing these illicit-licit pairs is due to a "perceptual illusion" caused by the phonological system, which prevents listeners from accurately perceiving a phonotactically unattested consonant cluster. In this study, we explore this and other sources of perceptual illusion by presenting English listeners with non-native word-initial clusters paired with various modifications, including epenthesis, deletion, C 1 change, and prothesis, in both AX and ABX discrimination tasks (e.g. [zmatu]-[zeschwamatu], [matu], [smatu], or [eschwazmatu]). For English listeners, fricative-initial sequences are most often confused with prothesis, stop-nasal sequences with deletion or change of the first consonant, and stop-stop sequences with vowel insertion. The pattern of results across tasks indicates that in addition to interference from the phonological system, sources of perceptual illusion include language-specific phonetic knowledge, the acoustic similarity of the stimulus items, the task itself, and the number of modifications to illicit sequences used in the experiment.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)234-248
    Number of pages15
    JournalJournal of Phonetics
    Volume40
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Mar 2012

    Fingerprint

    listener
    Phonetics
    Sequence Deletion
    Nose
    Acoustics
    Language
    phonetics
    acoustics
    interference
    stimulus
    discrimination
    Consonant Clusters
    Illusion
    experiment
    language
    Listeners
    Perceptual Illusions
    Discrimination (Psychology)

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Language and Linguistics
    • Linguistics and Language
    • Speech and Hearing

    Cite this

    Sources of illusion in consonant cluster perception. / Davidson, Lisa; Shaw, Jason A.

    In: Journal of Phonetics, Vol. 40, No. 2, 03.2012, p. 234-248.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Davidson, Lisa ; Shaw, Jason A. / Sources of illusion in consonant cluster perception. In: Journal of Phonetics. 2012 ; Vol. 40, No. 2. pp. 234-248.
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