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Phonemes and Syllables in Speech Perception: size of the attentional focus in French.

Pallier, Christophe (1997) Phonemes and Syllables in Speech Perception: size of the attentional focus in French. [Conference Paper]

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Abstract

A study by Pitt and Samuel (1990) found that English speakers could narrowly focus attention onto a precise phonemic position inside spoken words [1]. This led the authors to argue that the phoneme, rather than the syllable, is the primary unit of speech perception. Other evidence, obtained with a syllable detection paradigm, has been put forward to propose that the syllable is the unit of perception; yet, these experiments were ran with French speakers [2]. In the present study, we adapted Pitt & Samuel's phoneme detection experiment to French and found that French subjects behave exactly like English subjects: they too can focus attention on a precise phoneme. To explain both this result and the established sensitivity to the syllabic structure, we propose that the perceptual system automatically parses the speech signal into a syllabically-structured phonological representation.

Item Type:Conference Paper
Keywords:Psycholinguisics, unit of perception, speech, phoneme, syllable, attention, detection, reaction-times, phonological structure, segmentation
Subjects:Psychology > Cognitive Psychology
Computer Science > Speech
Linguistics > Phonology
Psychology > Psycholinguistics
Psychology > Psychophysics
ID Code:751
Deposited By:Pallier, Christophe
Deposited On:19 Oct 1998
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:54

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