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The Role of Context in the Perception of Stops

Carol D. Schatz
Language
Vol. 30, No. 1 (Jan. - Mar., 1954), pp. 47-56
DOI: 10.2307/410219
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/410219
Page Count: 10
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The Role of Context in the Perception of Stops
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Abstract

Recent experiments with synthetic speech have shown that the perception of voiceless stops depends in large measure on the context, not on the characteristics of the consonants alone. The same phenomenon was investigated in actual speech by recording voiceless stops on tape before certain vowels, cutting them away, and splicing them back before other vowels. The change in context caused certain instances of [k] to be perceived as [p] or [t]. The experiment shows that in actual speech the context of an initial voiceless stop is an important factor in its perception; the results agree strikingly with those obtained for synthetic speech. It is further suggested that aspiration ought properly to be regarded as part of the following vowel rather than of the preceding consonant.

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