ASA 126th Meeting Denver 1993 October 4-8

5aSP5. The influence of stress, vowel, and juncture cues on segmentation.

Paul N. Yerkey James R. Sawusch

Dept. of Psychol., Park Hall, State Univ. of New York, Buffalo, NY 14260

Cutler and Norric [JEP:HPP 14, 113--121 (1988)] proposed a segmentation strategy based on strong syllables. According to their strategy, a listener attempts lexical access every time a strong syllable is heard. In a word monitoring task, Cutler and Norris found support for this strategy with speakers of British English. However, in the Cutler and Norris experiments, the strong syllables used were characterized by strong stress, a tense vowel, and the possible presence of allophonic cues to word junction. Thus the relative roles of these cues in segmentation is still to be determined. As reported at previous meetings of the Acoustical Society, Yerkey and Sawusch [J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 91, 2338(A) (1992), J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 92, 2443(A) (1993)] examined this issue by separating syllable stress and vowel color in an attempt to determine their relative roles as cues to segmentation. The results of these experiments suggest that, for American English, syllable stress is a primary cue for segmentation, and vowel color does not seem to have an important influence. The present study extends these results by evaluating the role of allophonic juncture in word segmentation.