Psychophysical Boundary for Categorization of Voiced–Voiceless Stop Consonants in Native Japanese Speakers Purpose The purpose of this study was to investigate the psychophysical boundary used for categorization of voiced–voiceless stop consonants in native Japanese speakers. Method Twelve native Japanese speakers participated in the experiment. The stimuli were synthetic stop consonant–vowel stimuli varying in voice onset time (VOT) with manipulation of ... Research Article
Research Article  |   March 15, 2018
Psychophysical Boundary for Categorization of Voiced–Voiceless Stop Consonants in Native Japanese Speakers
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Shunsuke Tamura
    Graduate School of Information Science and Electrical Engineering, Kyushu University, Fukuoka City, Japan
  • Kazuhito Ito
    Faculty of Information Science and Electrical Engineering, Kyushu University, Fukuoka City, Japan
  • Nobuyuki Hirose
    Faculty of Information Science and Electrical Engineering, Kyushu University, Fukuoka City, Japan
  • Shuji Mori
    Faculty of Information Science and Electrical Engineering, Kyushu University, Fukuoka City, Japan
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.×
  • Correspondence to Shunsuke Tamura: tamuras@cog.inf.kyushu-u.ac.jp
  • Editor-in-Chief: Frederick (Erick) Gallun
    Editor-in-Chief: Frederick (Erick) Gallun×
  • Editor: Jennifer Lentz
    Editor: Jennifer Lentz×
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   March 15, 2018
Psychophysical Boundary for Categorization of Voiced–Voiceless Stop Consonants in Native Japanese Speakers
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, March 2018, Vol. 61, 789-796. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-H-17-0131
History: Received April 12, 2017 , Revised August 29, 2017 , Accepted November 25, 2017
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, March 2018, Vol. 61, 789-796. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-H-17-0131
History: Received April 12, 2017; Revised August 29, 2017; Accepted November 25, 2017

Purpose The purpose of this study was to investigate the psychophysical boundary used for categorization of voiced–voiceless stop consonants in native Japanese speakers.

Method Twelve native Japanese speakers participated in the experiment. The stimuli were synthetic stop consonant–vowel stimuli varying in voice onset time (VOT) with manipulation of the amplitude of the initial noise portion and the first formant (F1) frequency of the periodic portion. There were 3 tasks, namely, speech identification to either /d/ or /t/, detection of the noise portion, and simultaneity judgment of onsets of the noise and periodic portions.

Results The VOT boundaries of /d/–/t/ were close to the shortest VOT values that allowed for detection of the noise portion but not to those for perceived nonsimultaneity of the noise and periodic portions. The slopes of noise detection functions along VOT were as sharp as those of voiced–voiceless identification functions. In addition, the effects of manipulating the amplitude of the noise portion and the F1 frequency of the periodic portion on the detection of the noise portion were similar to those on voiced–voiceless identification.

Conclusion The psychophysical boundary of perception of the initial noise portion masked by the following periodic portion may be used for voiced–voiceless categorization by Japanese speakers.

Acknowledgments
The research was supported by a Grant-in-Aid of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science for Scientific Research (A) JP25240023 to Shuji Mori.
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