Acoustic and lexical effects on speech perception in Kaqchikel (Mayan)

Project Summary:

Kaqchikel (Mayan) has a phonemic contrast between voiceless plosives and `glottalized' plosives (implosives and ejectives) at corresponding places of articulation. Our study investigates acoustic and perceptual similarity within the plosives of Kaqchikel, focusing on how acoustic similarity and lexical factors affect consonant identification. Our primary results are (i) prior phonetic experience affects speech perception, consistent with exemplar theory (e.g. Pierrehumbert 2001), and (ii) lexical factors (e.g. functional load, Hockett 1955) appear to affect on-line consonant discrimination, even in the early stages of speech processing. To our knowledge, this is the only extant study investigating speech perception within the Mayan family.

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Publications:
Ryan Bennett, Kevin Tang & Juan Ajsivinac. In prep. The perception of stop consonants in Kaqchikel.
Presentations:
Ryan Bennett & Kevin Tang. January, 2017. Acoustic and lexical effects on speech perception in Kaqchikel (Mayan). The 91st Annual meeting of the Linguistic Society of America, Austin, TX, USA. [abstract] [slides]


D-primes of Onset Consonants

D-primes of Coda Consonants

Variable Importance of Experience-based Effects on Consonant Discrimination