Perception & Psychophysics

, Volume 62, Issue 4, pp 834–842 | Cite as

Adaptation to time-compressed speech: Phonological determinants

  • Núria Sebastián-Gallés
  • Emmanuel Dupoux
  • Albert Costa
  • Jacques Mehler


Perceptual adaptation to time-compressed speech was analyzed in two experiments. Previous research has suggested that this adaptation phenomenon is language specific and takes place at the phonological level. Moreover, it has been proposed that adaptation should only be observed for languages that are rhythmically similar. This assumption was explored by studying adaptation to different time-compressed languages in Spanish speakers. In Experiment 1, the performances of Spanish-speaking subjects who adapted to Spanish, Italian, French, English, and Japanese were compared. In Experiment 2, subjects from the same population were tested with Greek sentences compressed to two different rates. The results showed adaptation for Spanish, Italian, and Greek and no adaptation for English and Japanese, with French being an intermediate case. To account for the data, we propose that variables other than just the rhythmic properties of the languages, such as the vowel system and/or the lexical stress pattern, must be considered. The Greek data also support the view that phonological, rather than lexical, information is a determining factor in adaptation to compressed speech.


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Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Núria Sebastián-Gallés
    • 1
  • Emmanuel Dupoux
    • 2
  • Albert Costa
    • 1
  • Jacques Mehler
    • 2
  1. 1.Universitat de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Laboratoire de Sciences Cognitives et PsycholinguistiqueEHESS-CNRSParisFrance

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