The Effect of Habitual Speech Rate on Speaker-Specific Processing in English Stop Voicing Perception

Lang Speech. 2023 Aug 9:238309231188078. doi: 10.1177/00238309231188078. Online ahead of print.


This study investigates listeners' ability to track individual speakers' habitual speech rate in a dialogue and adjust their perception of durational contrasts. Previous studies that found such adjustments are inconclusive as adjustments can be attributed to exemplars of target structures in the dialogue rather than perceptual calibration of habitual speech rates. In this study, English listeners were presented with a dialogue between a fast and slow speaker, containing no stressed syllable-initial voiceless stops. Listeners then categorized /pi/-/bi/ syllables differing along a voice onset time continuum. Results did not show conclusive evidence that listeners' response differed systematically depending on speakers' habitual speech rate.

Keywords: Speech rate; VOT; individual speaker variation; speech perception.