Memory & Cognition

, Volume 26, Issue 4, pp 844–851 | Cite as

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

  • Christophe Pallier
  • Nuria Sebastian-Gallés
  • Emmanuel Dupoux
  • Anne Christophe
  • Jacques Mehler


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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Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christophe Pallier
    • 1
    • 2
  • Nuria Sebastian-Gallés
    • 1
  • Emmanuel Dupoux
    • 3
  • Anne Christophe
    • 3
  • Jacques Mehler
    • 3
  1. 1.Universitat de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Max Planck Institute for PsycholinguisticsNijmegenThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Laboratoire de Sciences Cognitives et PsycholinguistiqueEHESS-CNRSParisFrance

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