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Discrimination of Short and Rapid Speechlike Transitions

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Four discrimination experiments were carried out to examine auditory sensitivity to changes in (endpoint) frequency, duration, and rate-of-frequency change of short and rapid speechlike transitions. The transitions were simple (tone sweeps) as well as (harmonically) complex, and isolated as well as preceded or followed by a stationary part. They simulated rapid vocalic transitions in speech with regard to their frequency region, duration (20–50 ms), position and direction. The data showed that, at fixed durations of 20, 30, 40, and 50 ms, auditory sensitivity decreased as the stimuli became more complex and that final transitions were more discriminable than initial ones. However, the global pattern of discrimination functions was similar for both the simple and complex transitions: in all conditions difference limens in endpoint frequency decreased as the stimuli became longer. As for temporal changes, discrimination was markedly affected by changes in transition duration, even when the total duration of the stimulus remained constant. The experiments also showed that transition rate was perceptually less important than endpoint frequency or transition duration.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 1998

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  • Acta Acustica united with Acustica, published together with the European Acoustics Association (EAA), is an international, peer-reviewed journal on acoustics. It publishes original articles on all subjects in the field of acoustics, such as general linear acoustics, nonlinear acoustics, macrosonics, flow acoustics, atmospheric sound, underwater sound, ultrasonics, physical acoustics, structural acoustics, noise control, active control, environmental noise, building acoustics, room acoustics, acoustic materials, acoustic signal processing, computational and numerical acoustics, hearing, audiology and psychoacoustics, speech, musical acoustics, electroacoustics, auditory quality of systems. It reports on original scientific research in acoustics and on engineering applications. The journal considers scientific papers, technical and applied papers, book reviews, short communications, doctoral thesis abstracts, etc. In irregular intervals also special issues and review articles are published.
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