Memory & Cognition

, Volume 26, Issue 4, pp 844–851

Perceptual adjustment to time-compressed speech: A cross-linguistic study


    • Universitat de Barcelona
    • Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics
  • Nuria Sebastian-Gallés
    • Universitat de Barcelona
  • Emmanuel Dupoux
    • Laboratoire de Sciences Cognitives et PsycholinguistiqueEHESS-CNRS
  • Anne Christophe
    • Laboratoire de Sciences Cognitives et PsycholinguistiqueEHESS-CNRS
  • Jacques Mehler
    • Laboratoire de Sciences Cognitives et PsycholinguistiqueEHESS-CNRS

DOI: 10.3758/BF03211403

Cite this article as:
Pallier, C., Sebastian-Gallés, N., Dupoux, E. et al. Memory & Cognition (1998) 26: 844. doi:10.3758/BF03211403


Previous research has shown that, when hearers listen to artificially speeded speech, their performance improves over the course of 10–15 sentences, as if their perceptual system was “adapting” to these fast rates of speech. In this paper, we further investigate the mechanisms that are responsible for such effects. In Experiment 1, we report that, for bilingual speakers of Catalan and Spanish, exposure to compressed sentences in either language improves performance on sentences in the other language. Experiment 2 reports that Catalan/Spanish transfer of performance occurs even in monolingual speakers of Spanish who do not understand Catalan. In Experiment 3, we study another pair of languages— namely, English and French—and report no transfer of adaptation between these two languages for English—French bilinguals. Experiment 4, with monolingual English speakers, assesses transfer of adaptation from French, Dutch, and English toward English. Here we find that there is no adaptation from French and intermediate adaptation from Dutch. We discuss the locus of the adaptation to compressed speech and relate our findings to other cross-linguistic studies in speech perception.

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© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 1998