, Volume 47, Issue 4, pp 379-390

Stimulus variability and processing dependencies in speech perception

Abstract

Processing dependencies in speech perception between voice and phoneme were investigated using the Garner (1974) speeded classification procedure. Variability in the voice of the talker and in the cues to word-initial consonants were manipulated. The results showed that the processing of a talker’s voice and the perception of voicing are asymmetrically dependent. In addition, when stimulus variability was increased in each dimension, the amount of orthogonal interference obtained for each dimension became significantly larger. The processing asymmetry between voice and phoneme was interpreted in terms of a parallel-contingent relationship of talker normalization processes to auditory-to-phonetic coding processes. The processing of voice information appears to be qualitatively different from the encoding of segmental phonetic information, although they are not independent. Implications of these results for current theories of speech perception are discussed.

The research reported here was supported, in part, by NIH Research Grant NS-12179-11 and, in part, by NIH Training Grant NS07134-09, to Indiana University in Bloomington, IN.