ASA 127th Meeting M.I.T. 1994 June 6-10

2aSP1. Role of articulation in speech perception: Clues from production studies.

Bjorn Lindblom

Dept. of Linguist., Univ. of Texas, Austin, TX 78712-1196

, Stockholm University

, and Departement Signal, ENST, Paris, France

The relative roles that signal properties and nonsignal information play in speech perception are examined first. The evidence strongly suggests that ``the input is never into a quiescent or static system.'' Thus phonetic percepts are never knowledge-innocent records of the raw signal. Drawing this conclusion not only with reference to ``higher'' levels of language processing, but also for the perception of elementary phonetic stimuli, a broad range of facts about production are considered. Is it organized to permit listeners to recover articulations? Or is it shaped by a demand for (relative or absolute) acoustic stability despite articulatory imprecisions? Is it controlled to generate auditory invariants? The search for answers highlights the adaptive nature of speech production, which suggests that the signal does not encode articulatory, acoustic, or auditory invariants but plays the role of supplementing the multi-modal information already in place in the listener's speech processing system. Phonetic signals are not invariants wrapped in ``noise'' but are products of listener-dependent adaptations that transform speech patterns in principled, and therefore interpretable, ways. Do listeners recover articulations? The present review leads one to doubt that they do. 9:00\mCritique by Kenneth N. Stevens 9:10\mCritique by Robert E. Remez 9:20\mCritique by Bishnu S. Atal