Can V/C-ratio alone be sufficient for discrimination of V:C/VC: in Swedish? A perception test with manipulated durations.  

Bosse Thorén

In Ekberg L. & Håkansson G. (eds) Nordand 6. Sjätte konferensen om Nordens språk som andraspråk: 285-297 Lunds universitet, Institutionen för nordiska språk.


Experience from second language learning and comparing regional varieties of Swedish, suggests that temporal organization, here defined as the ratio of vowel duration divided by consonant duration in stressed syllables, could be a stronger cue to /V:C/-/VC:/ discrimination than the spectral difference between long and short vowel allophones. 12 monosyllabic Swedish words were recorded and manipulated so, that the VC-sequence of each word had a duration of 600 ms, and given seven different V/C-ratios ranging from 0.1 to 1.4, based on values from the recordings of natural native speech. 20 native Swedish listeners judged for each stimulus whether it was a /V:C/-word or a /VC:/-word. The result shows that all vowels in the experiment were sensitive to temporal change, i.e. once the V/C-ratio was far enough from the original value, the listeners tended to interpret an original /V:C/-word as a /VC:/-word and vice versa. A rough comparison between the effects of temporal and spectral change indicate that temporal change affects the listeners´ perception more than spectral change.

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