ASA 127th Meeting M.I.T. 1994 June 6-10

4pSP24. Perception of syllable-initial English stops by native Korean listeners.

Mi-Ran Kim

Keith R. Kluender

Andrew J. Lotto

Charles Reed

Depts. of English, Linguistics, and Psychology, Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706

Duration of attenuation in the region of the first formant (F1 cutback) and relative level of aspiration energy are known to be significant acoustic cues used to distinguish voiced from voiceless English stop consonants in initial position. This experiment was designed to test whether Korean listeners distinguish English stops on the same bases as native English listeners. In an identification task, 72 stimuli from six continua ranging perceptually from /da/ to /ta/ were presented to 12 Korean and 12 English subjects. Stimuli were synthesized using a parallel formant synthesizer and varied in duration of F1 cutback (5--82 ns in 7-ms steps), relative amplitude of prevocalic aspiration energy, and fundamental frequency (100, 125, and 150 Hz) of vocalic energy. Longer F1-cutback durations and greater aspiration intensity both significantly increased the proportion of voiceless /ta/ responses for both Korean and English subjects. Only Korean subjects labeled more stops as voiceless when fundamental frequency was higher. [Work supported by NIDCD grant DC-00719 and NSF grant DBS-9258482.]