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Perceptuo-Motor Biases in the Perceptual Organization of the Height Feature in French Vowels

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This paper reports on the organization of the perceived vowel space in French. In a previous paper [1], we investigated the implementation of vocalic height contrasts along the F1 dimension in French speakers. In this paper, we present results from perceptual identification tests performed by twelve participants who took part in the production experiment reported in the earlier paper. For each subject, stimuli presented in the identification test were synthesized in two different vowel spaces, corresponding to two different vocal tract lengths. The results showed that first, the perceived French vowels belonging to similar height degrees were aligned on stable F1 values, independent of place of articulation and roundedness, as was the case for produced vowels. Second, the produced F1 distances between height degrees correlated with the perceived F1 distances. This suggests that there is a link between perceptual and motor phonemic prototypes in the human brain. The results are discussed using the framework of the Perception for Action Control (PACT) theory, in which speech units are considered to be gestures shaped by perceptual processes.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2014

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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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