Influence of preceding liquid on stop-consonant perception
Certain attributes of a syllable-final liquid can influence the perceived place of articulation of a following stop consonant. To demonstrate this perceptual context effect, the CV portions of natural tokens of [al-da], [al-ga], [ar-da], [ar-ga] were excised and replaced with closely matched synthetic stimuli drawn from a [da]-[ga] continuum. The resulting hybrid disyllables were then presented to listeners who labeled both liquids and stops. The natural CV portions had two different effects on perception of the synthetic CVs. First, there was an effect of liquid category: Listeners perceived “g” more often in the context of [al] than in that of [ar]. Second, there was an effect due to tokens of [al] and [ar] having been produced before [da] or [ga]: More “g” percepts occurred when stops followed liquids that had been produced before [g]. A hypothesis that each of these perceptual effects finds a parallel in speech production is supported by spectrograms of the original utterances. Here, it seems, is another instance in which findings in speech perception reflect compensation for coarticulation during speech production.
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