Contributions of Semantic and Facial Information to Perception of Nonsibilant Fricatives Most studies have been unable to identify reliable acoustic cues for the recognition of the English nonsibilant fricatives /f, v, θ, ð/. The present study was designed to test the extent to which the perception of these fricatives by normal-hearing adults is based on other sources of information, namely, linguistic ... Research Article
Research Article  |   December 01, 2003
Contributions of Semantic and Facial Information to Perception of Nonsibilant Fricatives
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Allard Jongman
    University of Kansas, Lawrence
  • Yue Wang
    Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
  • Brian H. Kim
    Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
  • Contact author: Allard Jongman, PhD, Linguistics Department, 412 Blake Hall, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66045. E-mail: jongman@ku.edu
  • Currently at Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, Canada
    Currently at Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, Canada×
  • Currently at Michigan State University, East Lansing
    Currently at Michigan State University, East Lansing×
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Hearing Disorders / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 01, 2003
Contributions of Semantic and Facial Information to Perception of Nonsibilant Fricatives
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2003, Vol. 46, 1367-1377. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2003/106)
History: Received March 1, 2002 , Accepted May 5, 2003
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2003, Vol. 46, 1367-1377. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2003/106)
History: Received March 1, 2002; Accepted May 5, 2003
Web of Science® Times Cited: 8

Most studies have been unable to identify reliable acoustic cues for the recognition of the English nonsibilant fricatives /f, v, θ, ð/. The present study was designed to test the extent to which the perception of these fricatives by normal-hearing adults is based on other sources of information, namely, linguistic context and visual information. In Experiment 1, target words beginning with /f/, /θ/, /s/, or /∫/ were preceded by either a semantically congruous or incongruous precursor sentence. Results showed an effect of linguistic context on the perception of the distinction between /f/ and /θ/ and on the acoustically more robust distinction between /s/ and /∫/. In Experiment 2, participants identified syllables consisting of the fricatives /f, v, θ, ð/ paired with the vowels /i, a, u/. Three conditions were contrasted: Stimuli were presented with (a) both auditory and visual information, (b) auditory information alone, or (c) visual information alone. When errors in terms of voicing were ignored in all 3 conditions, results indicated that perception of these fricatives is as good with visual information alone as with both auditory and visual information combined, and better than for auditory information alone. These findings suggest that accurate perception of nonsibilant fricatives derives from a combination of acoustic, linguistic, and visual information.

Acknowledgments
Portions of this research were conducted while the first author was at Cornell University. This research was supported (in part) by Research Grant 1 R29 DC 02537-01A1 from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. The authors thank Scott Gargash, Eric Evans, Julie Allmayer, Diana Schenck, Joan Sereno, Michelle Spence, Michael Spivey, and Mike Tolomeo for assistance. Portions of this research were presented at the 137th meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, Berlin, March 1999.
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