FO gives voicing information even with unambiguous voice onset times

J Acoust Soc Am. 1993 Apr;93(4 Pt 1):2152-9. doi: 10.1121/1.406678.


The voiced/voiceless distinction for English utterance-initial stop consonants is primarily realized as differences in the voice onset time (VOT), which is largely signaled by the time between the stop burst and the onset of voicing. The voicing of stops has also been shown to affect the vowel's FO after release, with voiceless stops being associated with higher FO. When the VOT is ambiguous, these FO "perturbations" have been shown to affect voicing judgments. This is to be expected of what can be considered a redundant feature, that is, that it should carry a distinction in cases where the primary feature is neutralized. However, when the voicing judgments were made as quickly as possible, an inappropriate FO was found to slow response time even for unambiguous VOTs. This was true both of FO contours and level FO differences. These results reinforce the plausibility of tonogenesis, and they add further weight to the claim that listeners make full use of the signal given to them, even when overt labeling would seem to indicate otherwise.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Audiometry
  • Auditory Perception
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Phonetics
  • Speech Acoustics
  • Speech Perception*