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Prosodic Structure and Perception of Korean Domain-initial Coronal Stops

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Abstract

The perception of Korean's three-way voiceless stop contrast depends on the combination of a number of acoustic properties including closure duration, f 0, VOT and spectral slope. Production studies indicate that these same properties systematically vary according to a stop's position in the hierarchical prosodic structure of an utterance. This study investigated interactions between prosodic structure and the recognition of tense, lax and aspirated stops by using stimuli that contained stops produced at one position in the prosodic hierarchy cross-spliced into utterances at a different prosodic level. The results of the experiment showed that recognition of tense and aspirated stops remained high regardless of the degree of mismatch between the underlying prosodic position of a segment and the domain into which it was inserted. Misrecognition rates were higher for cross-spliced lax stops, and underlying Utterance and Intonation Phrase initial lax stops spliced into the syllable level were perceived as aspirated by a majority of listeners. These findings are interpreted in terms of Cho & Keating's (2001) study of domain-initial strengthening and the acoustic overlap that is observed between stop manner and prosodic position. These results are taken as preliminary evidence that could support Cho & Keating's (2001) suggestion that prosodically conditioned acoustic differences aid listeners in discerning intended phrasings.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2002-01-01

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