Abstract

Tongue shape can vary greatly for allophones of /r/ produced in different phonetic contexts but the primary acoustic cue used by listeners, lowered F3, remains stable. For the current study, it was hypothesized that auditory feedback maintains the speech motor control mechanisms that are constraining acoustic variability of F3 in /r/; thus the listener's percept remains /r/ despite the range of articulatory configurations employed by the speaker. Given the potential importance of auditory feedback, postlingually deafened speakers should show larger acoustic variation in /r/ allophones than hearing controls, and auditory feedback from a cochlear implant could reduce that variation over time. To test these hypotheses, measures were made of phoneme perception and of production of tokens containing /r/, stop consonants, and /r/+stop clusters in hearing controls and in eight postlingually deafened adults pre- and postimplant. Postimplant, seven of the eight implant speakers did not differ from the control mean. It was also found that implant users' production of stop and stop+/r/ blend improved with time but the measured acoustic contrast between these was still better in the control speakers than for the implant group even after the implant users had experienced a year of improved auditory feedback.

Notes

The following article appeared in J. Acoust. Soc. Am. Volume 124, Issue 5, pp. 3191-3202 (November 2008) and may be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.2987427

Keywords

hearing aids, /r/ allophones, F3, auditory feedback

Subject Categories

Hearing, Intelligibility of speech, Cochlear implants, Allophones

Disciplines

Psychology | Speech and Hearing Science

Publisher

Acoustical Society of America

Publication Date

11-1-2008

Rights Information

This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the Acoustical Society of America.

Rights Holder

©2008 Acoustical Society of America



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