Effect Of Voice Onset Time (Vot), Stop Burst And Vowel On The Perception Of Voicing In Hebrew Stops: Preliminary Results

Riki Taitelbaum-Swead, Minka Hildesheimer, Liat Kishon-Rabin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Very few studies investigated systematically the acoustic cues for the perception of voicing stops in Hebrew. Voicing is characterized by several parameters of which the voice onset time (VOT) was found to be the primary cue for its perception. There are, however, other known acoustic cues to voicing such as transition to the first formant (F1) and the initial burst. The purpose of the present study was to measure the relative weighting of these various acoustic cues in the perception of Hebrew voicing, using the conflicting cues paradigm. Thirteen adults with normal hearing participated in this study. Stimuli consisted of one pair of meaningful words that differ in the voicing of the initial stop. Four different continua were constructed from the pair of natural stimuli. The first two consisted of the voiced burst combined with the vowel that was truncated from the consonant-vowel combination (where the consonant was voiced or voiceless). The remaining two continua consisted of the voiceless burst combined with the same truncated vowels. For each stimulus, a VOT continuum was created varying from -40 to +40 ms in 10 ms segments. Subjects were tested using a two alternative forced choice labeling procedure. The percent of responses to each stimulus of each VOT continuum (/b-p/) was calculated for each individual and combination. The results show that each acoustic cue contributed to the perception of initial voicing in Hebrew; (1) When the stimulus was constructed from the voiced cues, positive VOT values were needed for the voice/voiceless distinction; (2) when the stimulus was constructed from the voiceless cues, negative VOT values were needed for the voicing distinction; and (3) when the stimulus was constructed from voiced and voiceless cues, intermediate VOT values were needed for the voicing distinction. These results provide initial information regarding the relative effect of the acoustic cues in the perception of Hebrew stop voicing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-176
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Basic and Clinical Physiology and Pharmacology
Volume14
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2003

Keywords

  • acoustic cues
  • categorical perception
  • cross language
  • phoneme boundary
  • voice onset time (VOT)
  • voicing

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