Tracking perception of pronunciation variation by tracking looks to printed words: The case of word-final /t/
Mitterer, H., & McQueen, J. M.
Tracking perception of pronunciation variation by tracking looks to printed words: The case of word-final /t/. In J. Trouvain, & W. J. Barry (Eds.
), Proceedings of the 16th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS 2007)
(pp. 1929-1932). Dudweiler: Pirrot.
We investigated perception of words with
reduced word-final /t/ using an adapted eyetracking
paradigm. Dutch listeners followed
spoken instructions to click on printed words
which were accompanied on a computer screen by
simple shapes (e.g., a circle). Targets were either
above or next to their shapes, and the shapes
uniquely identified the targets when the spoken
forms were ambiguous between words with or
without final /t/ (e.g., bult, bump, vs. bul, diploma).
Analysis of listeners’ eye-movements revealed, in
contrast to earlier results, that listeners use the
following segmental context when compensating
for /t/-reduction. Reflecting that /t/-reduction is
more likely to occur before bilabials, listeners were
more likely to look at the /t/-final words if the next
word’s first segment was bilabial. This result
supports models of speech perception in which
prelexical phonological processes use segmental
context to modulate word recognition.