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Lookup NU author(s): Dr Laurence White
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Copyright 2005 by the American Psychological Association. A central question in psycholinguistic research is how listeners isolate words from connected speech despite the paucity of clear word-boundary cues in the signal. A large body of empirical evidence indicates that word segmentation is promoted by both lexical (knowledge-derived) and sublexical (signal-derived) cues. However, an account of how these cues operate in combination or in conflict is lacking. The present study fills this gap by assessing speech segmentation when cues are systematically pitted against each other. The results demonstrate that listeners do not assign the same power to all segmentation cues; rather, cues are hierarchically integrated, with descending weights allocated to lexical, segmental, and prosodic cues. Lower level cues drive segmentation when the interpretive conditions are altered by a lack of contextual and lexical information or by white noise. Taken together, the results call for an integrated, hierarchical, and signal-contingent approach to speech segmentation.
Author(s): Mattys SL, White L, Melhorn JF
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Journal of Experimental Psychology: General
Print publication date: 01/11/2005
ISSN (print): 0096-3445
ISSN (electronic): 1939-2222
Publisher: American Psychological Association
PubMed id: 16316287
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