Language identification with suprasegmental cues: A study based on speech resynthesis

Ramus, Franck and Mehler, Jacques (1999) Language identification with suprasegmental cues: A study based on speech resynthesis. [Journal (Paginated)]

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This paper proposes a new experimental paradigm to explore the discriminability of languages, a question which is crucial to the child born in a bilingual environment. This paradigm employs the speech resynthesis technique, enabling the experimenter to preserve or degrade acoustic cues such as phonotactics, syllabic rhythm or intonation from natural utterances. English and Japanese sentences were resynthesized, preserving broad phonotactics, rhythm and intonation (Condition 1), rhythm and intonation (Condition 2), intonation only (Condition 3), or rhythm only (Condition 4). The findings support the notion that syllabic rhythm is a necessary and sufficient cue for French adult subjects to discriminate English from Japanese sentences. The results are consistent with previous research using low-pass filtered speech, as well as with phonological theories predicting rhythmic differences between languages. Thus, the new methodology proposed appears to be well-suited to study language discrimination. Applications for other domains of psycholinguistic research and for automatic language identification are considered.

Item Type:Journal (Paginated)
Keywords:language acquisition, bilingualism, language discrimination, speech perception, prosody, rhythm, phonetics, phonology, consonants, vowels, speech synthesis, delexicalization, low-pass filtering
Subjects:Computer Science > Speech
Linguistics > Phonology
Psychology > Perceptual Cognitive Psychology
Psychology > Psycholinguistics
ID Code:801
Deposited By: Ramus, Dr Franck
Deposited On:18 Mar 1999
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:54


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