Effects of talker variability on perceptual learning of dialects

Cynthia G. Clopper, David Pisoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

51 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Two groups of listeners learned to categorize a set of unfamiliar talkers by dialect region using sentences selected from the TIMIT speech corpus. One group learned to categorize a single talker from each of six American English dialect regions. A second group learned to categorize three talkers from each dialect region. Following training, both groups were asked to categorize new talkers using the same categorization task. While the single-talker group was more accurate during initial training and test phases when familiar talkers produced the sentences, the three-talker group performed better on the generalization task with unfamiliar talkers. This cross-over effect in dialect categorization suggests that while talker variation during initial perceptual learning leads to more difficult learning of specific exemplars, exposure to intertalker variability facilitates robust perceptual learning and promotes better categorization performance of unfamiliar talkers. The results suggest that listeners encode and use acoustic-phonetic variability in speech to reliably perceive the dialect of unfamiliar talkers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-239
Number of pages33
JournalLanguage and Speech
Volume47
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2004

Fingerprint

dialect
Learning
learning
Phonetics
Group
Acoustics
listener
phonetics
acoustics
Perceptual Learning
Talkers
Talker Variability
performance

Keywords

  • Dialect categorization
  • Indexical properties
  • Perceptual learning
  • Speech perception
  • Talker variability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Linguistics and Language
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Language and Linguistics

Cite this

Effects of talker variability on perceptual learning of dialects. / Clopper, Cynthia G.; Pisoni, David.

In: Language and Speech, Vol. 47, No. 3, 2004, p. 207-239.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Clopper, Cynthia G. ; Pisoni, David. / Effects of talker variability on perceptual learning of dialects. In: Language and Speech. 2004 ; Vol. 47, No. 3. pp. 207-239.
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