The representation of speech goals was explored using an auditory feedback paradigm. When talkers produce vowels the formant structure of which is perturbed in real time, they compensate to preserve the intended goal. When vowel formants are shifted up or down in frequency, participants change the formant frequencies in the opposite direction to the feedback perturbation. In this experiment, the specificity of vowel representation was explored by examining the magnitude of vowel compensation when the second formant frequency of a vowel was perturbed for speakers of two different languages (English and French). Even though the target vowel was the same for both language groups, the pattern of compensation differed. French speakers compensated to smaller perturbations and made larger compensations overall. Moreover, French speakers modified the third formant in their vowels to strengthen the compensation even though the third formant was not perturbed. English speakers did not alter their third formant. Changes in the perceptual goodness ratings by the two groups of participants were consistent with the threshold to initiate vowel compensation in production. These results suggest that vowel goals not only specify the quality of the vowel but also the relationship of the vowel to the vowel space of the spoken language.
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May 06 2013
Language dependent vowel representation in speech production
Takashi Mitsuya, Fabienne Samson, Lucie Ménard, Kevin G. Munhall; Language dependent vowel representation in speech production. J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 1 May 2013; 133 (5): 2993–3003. https://doi.org/10.1121/1.4795786
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