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      French Speech Segmentation in Liaison Contexts by L1 and L2 Listeners

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      Laboratory Phonology

      Ubiquity Press

      speech segmentation, French liaison, bilingualism

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          Abstract

          In this study, we consider how native status and signal degradation influence French listeners’ segmentation of an incoming speech stream containing liaison, a phonological process that misaligns word and syllable boundaries. In particular, we investigate how both first language (L1) and second language (L2) French listeners compensate for the syllable-word misalignment associated with liaison while segmenting French speech, and whether compensation-for-liaison strategies differ with decreasing signal-to-noise ratios. We consider the degree to which listeners rely on lexical knowledge, acoustic-phonetic cues, and distributional information to accomplish this compensation. Listeners completed a word identification task in which they heard adjective-noun sequences with or without liaison and were presented with the word or nonword alternatives for each noun that would result depending on whether the listener did or did not compensate for liaison. Results showed that both L1-French and L2-French listeners generally preferred lexically acceptable parses over those that resulted in a stranded nonword, and both groups gave significantly fewer lexically acceptable parses under harder listening conditions. However, the L2-French listeners demonstrated a pattern of boundary placement that indicated over-compensation for liaison, suggesting that they had successfully acquired, but not fully constrained, rules about liaison.

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          Most cited references 31

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          The Role of the Syllable in Lexical Segmentation in French: Word-Spotting Data

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            Time course of frequency effects in spoken-word recognition: evidence from eye movements.

            In two experiments, eye movements were monitored as participants followed spoken instructions to click on and move pictures with a computer mouse. In Experiment 1, a referent picture (e.g., the picture of a bench) was presented along with three pictures, two of which had names that shared the same initial phonemes as the name of the referent (e.g., bed and bell). Participants were more likely to fixate the picture with the higher frequency name (bed) than the picture with the lower frequency name (bell). In Experiment 2, referent pictures were presented with three unrelated distractors. Fixation latencies to referents with high-frequency names were shorter than those to referents with low-frequency names. The proportion of fixations to the referents and distractors were analyzed in 33-ms time slices to provide fine-grained information about the time course of frequency effects. These analyses established that frequency affects the earliest moments of lexical access and rule out a late-acting, decision-bias locus for frequency. Simulations using models in which frequency operates on resting-activation levels, on connection strengths, and as a postactivation decision bias provided further constraints on the locus of frequency effects. Copyright 2001 Academic Press.
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              Effects of energetic and informational masking on speech segmentation by native and non-native speakers

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                1868-6354
                Laboratory Phonology
                Ubiquity Press
                1868-6354
                25 November 2016
                : 7
                : 1
                Affiliations
                Northwestern University, Department of Linguistics, US
                Article
                10.5334/labphon.59
                Copyright: © 2016 The Author(s)

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

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