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Shorter phone duration facilitates isolated spoken word recognition

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  • Contextually predictable, high frequency, competitor-dense words are often produced with less phonetically contrastive categories in spontaneous speech, often manifested with shorter durations. The present study investigates the role of temporal variation in the recognition of isolated words using the Massive Auditory Lexical Decision (MALD) database. Since additional context is lacking for isolated words, it is hypothesized that processing will be inhibited by either (1) loss of information, i.e., shorter durations of individual phones, or (2) durations that are uncommon for a particular phone (both long and short). A measure of phone temporal variation for each word was calculated and then used to predict response latencies in the MALD dataset. We find, however, that neither hypothesis is supported, as shorter phones are found to facilitate word recognition.

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    Article (Published)
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    Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International