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Listeners use the speech rate context to tune their speech perceptions


Maslowski,  Merel
Psychology of Language Department, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;

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Maslowski, M. (2019). Listeners use the speech rate context to tune their speech perceptions. Talk presented at the MPI Lunch Talk. Nijmegen, The Netherlands. 2019-02-01.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-1523-E
Speech can be produced at different rates. Listeners take this rate variation into account by normalizing vowel duration or contextual speech rate: An ambiguous Dutch word /m?t/ is perceived as short /mAt/ when embedded in a slow context, but long /ma:t/ in a fast context. Many have argued that rate normalization involves low-level early and automatic perceptual processing. However, prior research on rate-dependent speech perception has only used explicit recognition tasks to investigate the phenomenon, involving both perceptual processing and decision making. Speech rate effects are induced by both local adjacent temporal cues and global non-adjacent cues. In this talk, I present evidence that local rate normalization takes place, at least in part, at a perceptual level, and even in the absence of an explicit recognition task. In contrast, global effects of speech rate seem to involve higher-level cognitive adjustments, possibly taking place at a later decision-making level.