Anne Cutler †

Publications

Displaying 1 - 8 of 8
  • Asano, Y., Yuan, C., Grohe, A.-K., Weber, A., Antoniou, M., & Cutler, A. (2020). Uptalk interpretation as a function of listening experience. In N. Minematsu, M. Kondo, T. Arai, & R. Hayashi (Eds.), Proceedings of Speech Prosody 2020 (pp. 735-739). Tokyo: ISCA. doi:10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-150.

    Abstract

    The term “uptalk” describes utterance-final pitch rises that carry no sentence-structural information. Uptalk is usually dialectal or sociolectal, and Australian English (AusEng) is particularly known for this attribute. We ask here whether experience with an uptalk variety affects listeners’ ability to categorise rising pitch contours on the basis of the timing and height of their onset and offset. Listeners were two groups of English-speakers (AusEng, and American English), and three groups of listeners with L2 English: one group with Mandarin as L1 and experience of listening to AusEng, one with German as L1 and experience of listening to AusEng, and one with German as L1 but no AusEng experience. They heard nouns (e.g. flower, piano) in the framework “Got a NOUN”, each ending with a pitch rise artificially manipulated on three contrasts: low vs. high rise onset, low vs. high rise offset and early vs. late rise onset. Their task was to categorise the tokens as “question” or “statement”, and we analysed the effect of the pitch contrasts on their judgements. Only the native AusEng listeners were able to use the pitch contrasts systematically in making these categorisations.
  • Yu, J., Mailhammer, R., & Cutler, A. (2020). Vocabulary structure affects word recognition: Evidence from German listeners. In N. Minematsu, M. Kondo, T. Arai, & R. Hayashi (Eds.), Proceedings of Speech Prosody 2020 (pp. 474-478). Tokyo: ISCA. doi:10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-97.

    Abstract

    Lexical stress is realised similarly in English, German, and
    Dutch. On a suprasegmental level, stressed syllables tend to be
    longer and more acoustically salient than unstressed syllables;
    segmentally, vowels in unstressed syllables are often reduced.
    The frequency of unreduced unstressed syllables (where only
    the suprasegmental cues indicate lack of stress) however,
    differs across the languages. The present studies test whether
    listener behaviour is affected by these vocabulary differences,
    by investigating German listeners’ use of suprasegmental cues
    to lexical stress in German and English word recognition. In a
    forced-choice identification task, German listeners correctly
    assigned single-syllable fragments (e.g., Kon-) to one of two
    words differing in stress (KONto, konZEPT). Thus, German
    listeners can exploit suprasegmental information for
    identifying words. German listeners also performed above
    chance in a similar task in English (with, e.g., DIver, diVERT),
    i.e., their sensitivity to these cues also transferred to a nonnative
    language. An English listener group, in contrast, failed
    in the English fragment task. These findings mirror vocabulary
    patterns: German has more words with unreduced unstressed
    syllables than English does.
  • Bruggeman, L., & Cutler, A. (2019). The dynamics of lexical activation and competition in bilinguals’ first versus second language. In S. Calhoun, P. Escudero, M. Tabain, & P. Warren (Eds.), Proceedings of the 19th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS 20195) (pp. 1342-1346). Canberra, Australia: Australasian Speech Science and Technology Association Inc.

    Abstract

    Speech input causes listeners to activate multiple
    candidate words which then compete with one
    another. These include onset competitors, that share a
    beginning (bumper, butter), but also, counterintuitively,
    rhyme competitors, sharing an ending
    (bumper, jumper). In L1, competition is typically
    stronger for onset than for rhyme. In L2, onset
    competition has been attested but rhyme competition
    has heretofore remained largely unexamined. We
    assessed L1 (Dutch) and L2 (English) word
    recognition by the same late-bilingual individuals. In
    each language, eye gaze was recorded as listeners
    heard sentences and viewed sets of drawings: three
    unrelated, one depicting an onset or rhyme competitor
    of a word in the input. Activation patterns revealed
    substantial onset competition but no significant
    rhyme competition in either L1 or L2. Rhyme
    competition may thus be a “luxury” feature of
    maximally efficient listening, to be abandoned when
    resources are scarcer, as in listening by late
    bilinguals, in either language.
  • Cutler, A., Burchfield, A., & Antoniou, M. (2019). A criterial interlocutor tally for successful talker adaptation? In S. Calhoun, P. Escudero, M. Tabain, & P. Warren (Eds.), Proceedings of the 19th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS 20195) (pp. 1485-1489). Canberra, Australia: Australasian Speech Science and Technology Association Inc.

    Abstract

    Part of the remarkable efficiency of listening is
    accommodation to unfamiliar talkers’ specific
    pronunciations by retuning of phonemic intercategory
    boundaries. Such retuning occurs in second
    (L2) as well as first language (L1); however, recent
    research with emigrés revealed successful adaptation
    in the environmental L2 but, unprecedentedly, not in
    L1 despite continuing L1 use. A possible explanation
    involving relative exposure to novel talkers is here
    tested in heritage language users with Mandarin as
    family L1 and English as environmental language. In
    English, exposure to an ambiguous sound in
    disambiguating word contexts prompted the expected
    adjustment of phonemic boundaries in subsequent
    categorisation. However, no adjustment occurred in
    Mandarin, again despite regular use. Participants
    reported highly asymmetric interlocutor counts in the
    two languages. We conclude that successful retuning
    ability requires regular exposure to novel talkers in
    the language in question, a criterion not met for the
    emigrés’ or for these heritage users’ L1.
  • Joo, H., Jang, J., Kim, S., Cho, T., & Cutler, A. (2019). Prosodic structural effects on coarticulatory vowel nasalization in Australian English in comparison to American English. In S. Calhoun, P. Escudero, M. Tabain, & P. Warren (Eds.), Proceedings of the 19th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS 20195) (pp. 835-839). Canberra, Australia: Australasian Speech Science and Technology Association Inc.

    Abstract

    This study investigates effects of prosodic factors (prominence, boundary) on coarticulatory Vnasalization in Australian English (AusE) in CVN and NVC in comparison to those in American English
    (AmE). As in AmE, prominence was found to
    lengthen N, but to reduce V-nasalization, enhancing N’s nasality and V’s orality, respectively (paradigmatic contrast enhancement). But the prominence effect in CVN was more robust than that in AmE. Again similar to findings in AmE, boundary
    induced a reduction of N-duration and V-nasalization phrase-initially (syntagmatic contrast enhancement), and increased the nasality of both C and V phrasefinally.
    But AusE showed some differences in terms
    of the magnitude of V nasalization and N duration. The results suggest that the linguistic contrast enhancements underlie prosodic-structure modulation of coarticulatory V-nasalization in
    comparable ways across dialects, while the fine phonetic detail indicates that the phonetics-prosody interplay is internalized in the individual dialect’s phonetic grammar.
  • Cutler, A., & Bruggeman, L. (2013). Vocabulary structure and spoken-word recognition: Evidence from French reveals the source of embedding asymmetry. In Proceedings of INTERSPEECH: 14th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association (pp. 2812-2816).

    Abstract

    Vocabularies contain hundreds of thousands of words built from only a handful of phonemes, so that inevitably longer words tend to contain shorter ones. In many languages (but not all) such embedded words occur more often word-initially than word-finally, and this asymmetry, if present, has farreaching consequences for spoken-word recognition. Prior research had ascribed the asymmetry to suffixing or to effects of stress (in particular, final syllables containing the vowel schwa). Analyses of the standard French vocabulary here reveal an effect of suffixing, as predicted by this account, and further analyses of an artificial variety of French reveal that extensive final schwa has an independent and additive effect in promoting the embedding asymmetry.
  • Cutler, A., & Butterfield, S. (1989). Natural speech cues to word segmentation under difficult listening conditions. In J. Tubach, & J. Mariani (Eds.), Proceedings of Eurospeech 89: European Conference on Speech Communication and Technology: Vol. 2 (pp. 372-375). Edinburgh: CEP Consultants.

    Abstract

    One of a listener's major tasks in understanding continuous speech is segmenting the speech signal into separate words. When listening conditions are difficult, speakers can help listeners by deliberately speaking more clearly. In three experiments, we examined how word boundaries are produced in deliberately clear speech. We found that speakers do indeed attempt to mark word boundaries; moreover, they differentiate between word boundaries in a way which suggests they are sensitive to listener needs. Application of heuristic segmentation strategies makes word boundaries before strong syllables easiest for listeners to perceive; but under difficult listening conditions speakers pay more attention to marking word boundaries before weak syllables, i.e. they mark those boundaries which are otherwise particularly hard to perceive.
  • Cutler, A. (1970). An experimental method for semantic field study. Linguistic Communications, 2, 87-94.

    Abstract

    This paper emphasizes the need for empirical research and objective discovery procedures in semantics, and illustrates a method by which these goals may be obtained. The aim of the methodology described is to provide a description of the internal structure of a semantic field by eliciting the description--in an objective, standardized manner--from a representative group of native speakers. This would produce results that would be equally obtainable by any linguist using the same method under the same conditions with a similarly representative set of informants. The standardized method suggested by the author is the Semantic Differential developed by C. E. Osgood in the 1950's. Applying this method to semantic research, it is further hypothesized that, should different members of a semantic field be employed as concepts on a Semantic Differential task, a factor analysis of the results would reveal the dimensions operative within the body of data. The author demonstrates the use of the Semantic Differential and factor analysis in an actual experiment.

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