General contrast effects in speech perception: Effect of preceding liquid on stop consonant identification

Andrew J. Lotto, Keith R. Kluender

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

161 Scopus citations


When members of a series of synthesized stop consonants varying acoustically in F3 characteristics and varying perceptually from /da/ to /ga/ are preceded by /al/, subjects report hearing more /ga/ syllables relative to when each member is preceded by /ar/ (Mann, 1980). It has been suggested that this result demonstrates the existence of a mechanism that compensates for coarticulation via tacit knowledge of articulatory dynamics and constraints, or through perceptual recovery of vocal-tract dynamics. The present study was designed to assess the degree to which these perceptual effects are specific to qualities of human articulatory sources. In three experiments, series of consonant-vowel (CV) stimuli varying in F3-onset frequency (/da/-/ga/) were preceded by speech versions or nonspeech analogues of /al/ and /ar/. The effect of liquid identity on stop consonant labeling remained when the preceding VC was produced by a female speaker and the CV syllable was modeled after a male speaker's productions. Labeling boundaries also shifted when the CV was preceded by a sine wave glide modeled after F3 characteristics of /al/ and /ar/. Identifications shifted even when the preceding sine wave was of constant frequency equal to the offset frequency of F3 from a natural production. These results suggest an explanation in terms of general auditory processes as opposed to recovery of or knowledge of specific articulatory dynamics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)602-619
Number of pages18
JournalPerception and Psychophysics
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • General Psychology
  • Sensory Systems


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