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Exam 1997 Question 2

"A central issue in speech perception is how listeners are able to give a reliable indication of the identity of a phonetic segment despite a great deal of variation caused by speaker, context and listening environment. Describe these three types of variability, giving examples. Discuss what information a listener might use to compensate for such variability."

20 things you should mention:

  • Speaker Variability
    • Accent/Idiolect
    • Articulatory preferences
    • Larynx size (sex/age)
    • Vocal tract size (age/height)
  • Context variability
    • position in utterance
    • style/pragmatic effects
    • speed/intonation
    • phonetic context/stress context
  • Listening environment
    • background noise
    • reverberation
    • telephone channel
  • Compensation
    • tuning in to speaker
    • normalisation of vowel space
    • normalisation to Fx range
    • visual cues
    • lexical constraints
    • language constraints/syntax/semantics
    • situational/task/pragmatic constraints
    • auditory processing
    • rule-governed context changes/articulatory constraints

© 2000 Mark Huckvale University College London