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Journal Article

Word perception in fast speech: Artificially time-compressed vs. naturally produced fast speech

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Janse, E. (2004). Word perception in fast speech: Artificially time-compressed vs. naturally produced fast speech. Speech Communication, 42, 155-173. doi:10.1016/j.specom.2003.07.001.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0013-2D43-B
Natural fast speech differs from normal-rate speech with respect to its temporal pattern. Previous results showed that word intelligibility of heavily artificially time-compressed speech could not be improved by making its temporal pattern more similar to that of natural fast speech. This might have been due to the extrapolation of timing rules for natural fast speech to rates that are much faster than can be attained by human speakers. The present study investigates whether, at a speech rate that human speakers can attain, artificially time-compressed speech is easier to process if its timing pattern is similar to that of naturally produced fast speech. Our first experiment suggests, however, that word processing speed was slowed down, relative to linear compression. In a second experiment, word processing of artificially time-compressed speech was compared with processing of naturally produced fast speech. Even when naturally produced fast speech is perfectly intelligible, its less careful articulation, combined with the changed timing pattern, slows down processing, relative to linearly time-compressed speech. Furthermore, listeners preferred artificially time-compressed speech over naturally produced fast speech. These results suggest that linearly time-compressed speech has both a temporal and a segmental advantage over natural fast speech.