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Brief article Gradient effects of within-category phonetic
 

Summary: Brief article
Gradient effects of within-category phonetic
variation on lexical access
Bob McMurray*, Michael K. Tanenhaus, Richard N. Aslin
Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14627, USA
Received 27 March 2002; accepted 16 July 2002
Abstract
In order to determine whether small within-category differences in voice onset time (VOT) affect
lexical access, eye movements were monitored as participants indicated which of four pictures was
named by spoken stimuli that varied along a 040 ms VOT continuum. Within-category differences
in VOT resulted in gradient increases in fixations to cross-boundary lexical competitors as VOT
approached the category boundary. Thus, fine-grained acoustic/phonetic differences are preserved in
patterns of lexical activation for competing lexical candidates and could be used to maximize the
efficiency of on-line word recognition. q 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Speech perception; Spoken word recognition; Categorical perception; Lexical access; Eye movements
1. Introduction
One of the longstanding, and as yet unresolved, puzzles in research on speech percep-
tion and spoken word recognition is how listeners rapidly decode highly variable acoustic
signals articulated by a speaker's vocal tract into seemingly discrete and invariant
phonemes and words. The classic view is that specialized mechanisms extract prototypical

  

Source: Aslin, Richard N. - Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, University of Rochester
DeAngelis, Gregory - Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, University of Rochester

 

Collections: Biology and Medicine