The time course of perception of coarticulation

Patrice Speeter Beddor, Kevin B. McGowan, Julie E. Boland, Andries W. Coetzee, Anthony Brasher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Scopus citations


The perception of coarticulated speech as it unfolds over time was investigated by monitoring eye movements of participants as they listened to words with oral vowels or with late or early onset of anticipatory vowel nasalization. When listeners heard [C V NC] and had visual choices of images of CVNC (e.g., send) and CVC (said) words, they fixated more quickly and more often on the CVNC image when onset of nasalization began early in the vowel compared to when the coarticulatory information occurred later. Moreover, when a standard eye movement programming delay is factored in, fixations on the CVNC image began to occur before listeners heard the nasal consonant. Listeners attention to coarticulatory cues for velum lowering was selective in two respects: (a) listeners assigned greater perceptual weight to coarticulatory information in phonetic contexts in which [V ] but not N is an especially robust property, and (b) individual listeners differed in their perceptual weights. Overall, the time course of perception of velum lowering in American English indicates that the dynamics of perception parallel the dynamics of the gestural information encoded in the acoustic signal. In real-time processing, listeners closely track unfolding coarticulatory information in ways that speed lexical activation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2350-2366
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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