The interaction of lexical frequency and phonetic variation
in the perception of accented speech
de Marneffe, M.-C., Tomlinson, J. J., Tice, M., & Sumner, M.
The interaction of lexical frequency and phonetic variation in the perception of accented speech. In L. Carlson, C. Hölscher, & T. Shipley (Eds.
), Proceedings of the 33rd Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society
(pp. 3575-3580). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.
How listeners understand spoken words despite massive variation in the speech signal is a central issue for linguistic theory.
A recent focus on lexical frequency and specificity has proved fruitful in accounting for this phenomenon. Speech perception,
though, is a multi-faceted process and likely incorporates a number of mechanisms to map a variable signal to meaning. We examine a well-established language use factor — lexical frequency — and how this factor is integrated with phonetic variability during the perception of accented speech. We show that an integrated perspective highlights a low-level perceptual mechanism that accounts for the perception of accented speech absent native contrasts, while shedding light on the use of interactive
language factors in the perception of spoken words.