Orhun Uluşahin


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  • Uluşahin, O., Bosker, H. R., McQueen, J. M., & Meyer, A. S. (in press). Knowledge of a talker’s f0 affects subsequent perception of voiceless fricatives. In Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Speech Prosody.


    The human brain deals with the infinite variability of speech through multiple mechanisms. Some of them rely solely on information in the speech input (i.e., signal-driven) whereas some rely on linguistic or real-world knowledge (i.e., knowledge-driven). Many signal-driven perceptual processes rely on the enhancement of acoustic differences between incoming speech sounds, producing contrastive adjustments. For instance, when an ambiguous voiceless fricative is preceded by a high fundamental frequency (f0) sentence, the fricative is perceived as having lower a spectral center of gravity (CoG). However, it is not clear whether knowledge of a talker’s typical f0 can lead to similar contrastive effects. This study investigated a possible talker f0 effect on fricative CoG perception. In the exposure phase, two groups of participants (N=16 each) heard the same talker at high or low f0 for 20 minutes. Later, in the test phase, participants rated fixed-f0 /?ɔk/ tokens as being /sɔk/ (i.e., high CoG) or /ʃɔk/ (i.e., low CoG), where /?/ represents a fricative from a 5-step /s/-/ʃ/ continuum. Surprisingly, the data revealed the opposite of our contrastive hypothesis, whereby hearing high f0 instead biased perception towards high CoG. Thus, we demonstrated that talker f0 information affects fricative CoG perception.
  • Uluşahin, O., Bosker, H. R., McQueen, J. M., & Meyer, A. S. (2023). No evidence for convergence to sub-phonemic F2 shifts in shadowing. In R. Skarnitzl, & J. Volín (Eds.), Proceedings of the 20th International Congress of the Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS 2023) (pp. 96-100). Prague: Guarant International.


    Over the course of a conversation, interlocutors sound more and more like each other in a process called convergence. However, the automaticity and grain size of convergence are not well established. This study therefore examined whether female native Dutch speakers converge to large yet sub-phonemic shifts in the F2 of the vowel /e/. Participants first performed a short reading task to establish baseline F2s for the vowel /e/, then shadowed 120 target words (alongside 360 fillers) which contained one instance of a manipulated vowel /e/ where the F2 had been shifted down to that of the vowel /ø/. Consistent exposure to large (sub-phonemic) downward shifts in F2 did not result in convergence. The results raise issues for theories which view convergence as a product of automatic integration between perception and production.
  • Kanero, J., Franko, I., Oranç, C., Uluşahin, O., Koskulu, S., Adigüzel, Z., Küntay, A. C., & Göksun, T. (2018). Who can benefit from robots? Effects of individual differences in robot-assisted language learning. In Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Development and Learning and Epigenetic Robotics (ICDL-EpiRob) (pp. 212-217). Piscataway, NJ, USA: IEEE.


    It has been suggested that some individuals may benefit more from social robots than do others. Using second
    language (L2) as an example, the present study examined how individual differences in attitudes toward robots and personality
    traits may be related to learning outcomes. Preliminary results with 24 Turkish-speaking adults suggest that negative attitudes
    toward robots, more specifically thoughts and anxiety about the negative social impact that robots may have on the society,
    predicted how well adults learned L2 words from a social robot. The possible implications of the findings as well as future directions are also discussed

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