Phonological and statistical effects on timing of speech perception: Insights from a database of Dutch diphone perception

Natasha Warner, Roel Smits, James M. McQueen, Anne Cutler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


We report detailed analyses of a very large database on timing of speech perception collected by Smits et al. (Smits, R., Warner, N., McQueen, J.M., Cutler, A., 2003. Unfolding of phonetic information over time: A database of Dutch diphone perception. J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 113, 563-574). Eighteen listeners heard all possible diphones of Dutch, gated in portions of varying size and presented without background noise. The present report analyzes listeners' responses across gates in terms of phonological features (voicing, place, and manner for consonants; height, backness, and length for vowels). The resulting patterns for feature perception differ from patterns reported when speech is presented in noise. The data are also analyzed for effects of stress and of phonological context (neighboring vowel vs. consonant); effects of these factors are observed to be surprisingly limited. Finally, statistical effects, such as overall phoneme frequency and transitional probabilities, along with response biases, are examined; these too exercise only limited effects on response patterns. The results suggest highly accurate speech perception on the basis of acoustic information alone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-72
Number of pages20
JournalSpeech Communication
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 2005


  • Diphone
  • Dutch
  • Feature
  • Speech perception
  • Timing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Science Applications


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