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Listeners’ discrimination of read and spontaneous speech is primed by performance of a prior speech production task

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Laurence WhiteORCiD


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© 2016, International Speech Communications Association. All rights reserved.Distinguishing read and spontaneous speech seems intuitively to be a straightforward task, but listener performance in experimental studies is highly variable. Indeed, two recent studies showed chance-level discrimination performance, suggesting that – even with relevant prosodic cues available – listeners’ judgements may be heavily mediated by their contextual interpretation. Using lexically-identical map-task and read utterances previously found to be poorly discriminated despite available cues, we asked whether speech style identification could be primed by active familiarisation with the context of the speech production task. A betweensubjects design with two conditions (priming vs no priming) was used. In both conditions, listeners completed a forcedchoice speech style discrimination task on lexically-identical paired utterances. In the priming condition, prior to the discrimination task, listeners completed a communicative map task in pairs, equivalent to that used to generate the spontaneous speech stimuli. Although cues to speech style were available in the stimuli, performance in the no-priming condition was at chance. Discrimination performance was significantly better for subjects in the priming condition, suggesting that recent exposure to the production context of spontaneous speech promotes engagement of appropriate discrimination strategies. Indeed, subjective judgement data indicated that the priming condition increased listener awareness of relevant speech-style cues.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Morris-Haynes R, White L, Mattys SL

Editor(s): Jon Barnes, Alejna Brugos, Stefanie Shattuck-Hufnagel and Nanette Veilleux

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: Proceedings of the International Conference on Speech Prosody

Year of Conference: 2016

Pages: 232-236

Online publication date: 31/05/2016

Acceptance date: 02/04/2016

ISSN: 2333-2042

Publisher: International Speech Communications Association


DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2016-48