A common view in psycholinguistic models of spoken-word recognition is that speech decoding is essentially phonemic: the speech signal is mapped onto intermediate phonemic representations, which in turn are used to access phonemically coded lexical representations. Several types of evidence indicate, however, that acoustic-phonetic information is passed to the mental lexicon continuously, as it becomes available in the speech signal. This is not to say, however, that phonemes have no role to play in lexical access. The view that speech decoding is essentially phonemic captures the important fact that differences in the input which signal the intentions of speakers are phonemic. The process and representations involved in lexical access must thus be sensitive to phonemic differences. It is perhaps for this reason that psycholinguistic models of spoken-word recognition have assigned a greater role in lexical access to phonemic distinctions than to the continuous unfolding of phonemically relevant information.
The aim of the present research was to provide temporally detailed perceptual data concerning the unfolding of phonetic information over time. For this purpose portions of natural utterances were presented to listeners for classification. To measure phoneme activations in all left and right phonetic contexts, gated versions of all possible English diphones were used.
Warner, Natasha, McQueen, James, and Cutler, Anne. 2014. Tracking Perception of the Sounds of English. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 135:2995-3006.
Talks (Authors: Natasha Warner, James McQueen, Maureen Hoffmann, Priscilla Shin, and Anne Cutler)
"Perception of all English sound sequences: Stress." University of Arizona-Arizona State University Cognitive Science Conclave, Tucson, AZ, December 2013.
"Perception of stressed vs. unstressed vowels: Language-specific and general patterns." Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, San Francisco, CA, November 2013.
"Perceptual Cues across Phonetic Contexts: Insights from a Database of Diphone Perception." Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America, Boston, January 2013.
"Timing of perception for all English diphones." Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, Kansas City, MO, October 2012.
Stimuli sound files with final beep as presented to subjects (zipped, 243.5 MB)
Stimuli sound files without final beep (zipped, 238MB)*
*The un-beeped stimuli for [0796_Ge_CV, 1268_Il_VC, 1374_UT_VC, 1547_Ig_VC, 1824_Oi_VV. 1958_Oi_VV, 2080_oe_VV, 2082_Oi_VV, 2151_Oe_VV, 2289_xF_VC] are missing, but are present in the beeped stimuli zipped file.