Patricia K. Kuhl
Dept. of Speech and Hear. Sci., WJ-10, Univ. of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195
Studies on vowels by Kuhl and her colleagues have shown that certain stimuli in a vowel category are rates as ``better exemplars'' (prototypes) than others. The present study extends this work to consonants. Ten adult speakers of American English recorded 20 different words with initial velar stops before the vowel /(ae ligature)/. These 200 tokens were digitized and edited to include only two pitch periods of the following vowel in addition to the initial consonant. The resulting stimuli were presented to 8 adult subjects who were asked to rate their ``representativeness'' as members of the voiced or voiceless category (1=poor, 7=excellent). Acoustic parameters of the stimuli were correlated with subjects' ratings to determine which variables (including voice onset time, burst duration, burst locus, etc.) had the most effect on subjects' goodness judgments. Initial results [K. Davis and P. K. Kuhl, Proc. ICSLP, 495--498 (1992)] showed that VOT was strongly correlated with perceived category goodness. Now additional acoustic cues have been included and multiple regression analyses have been used which show effects of VOT, aspiration amplitude, and fundamental frequency of the following vowel in certain cases. The present study also investigates the response of Hindi speakers to the identical stimuli when judging goodness according to Hindi voicing categories.