John R. Karl
David B. Pisoni
Speech Res. Lab., Dept. of Psychol., Indiana Univ., Bloomington, IN 47405
Contrary to most traditional theories of speech perception, talker-specific information is not filtered out or ``lost'' during perceptual analysis, but is retained in the processing and representation of spoken language. Effects of talker-specific information have been found for words and phonemes spoken in isolation [J. W. Mullennix and D. B. Pisoni, J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 85, 365--378 (1990); Goldinger et al., J. Exp. Psychol.: Learn., Mem. Cog. 17, 152--162 (1991)]. However, the processing of spoken sentences may be quite different from isolated words due to coarticulation across words, suprasegmental information, and syntactic and semantic constraints. The present experiment investigates whether the effects of talker-specific information on the processing of sentences are similar to those found for the processing of isolated words and phonemes. Subjects first transcribed lists of sentences in either a single-talker or multiple-talker presentation format; they were given a probed recall test to assess memory for the sentences. While transcription accuracy was higher in the single-talker than the multiple-talker condition, cued recall performance for correctly transcribed sentences was not significantly different between the two presentation conditions. Implications of these findings for current theories of spoken language processing will be discussed in the context of recent episodic and multiple-trace models of human memory.