ASA 129th Meeting - Washington, DC - 1995 May 30 .. Jun 06

1aSC11. Age differences in the uptake of acoustic cues in spoken word recognition.

Robert Allen Fox

Julie McGory

Dept. of Speech Hear. Sci., Ohio State Univ., 110 Pressey Hall, 1070 Carmack Rd., Columbus, OH 43210-1002

This study compares the uptake of acoustic-phonetic information during lexical access in younger (20--30 years) and older (55--70 years) listeners to determine if these groups are equally efficient in utilizing the coarticulatory information in VC transitions. Examined were place contrasts between stops (p/t and p/k) and fricatives (s/(sh) and z/(yog)), and manner contrasts between stops and nasals (b/m and d/n) using the gating paradigm [Warren and Marslen-Wilson, Percept. Psychophys. 41, 262--275 (1987)]. Stimuli consisted of 21 pairs of CVC words differing only in terms of the final consonant (e.g., pot versus pop). These words were heard in their natural or cross-spliced forms in which the initial CV of one word was appended to the consonant offset of its match. Gated versions of each word were constructed on the basis of this ``splicing'' point such that the first gate included the initial CV up to 100 msec before end of the vowel and then proceeded in 20-ms increments (gates that included portions of voiceless stop closure providing no additional acoustic information were eliminated). Results will be discussed in terms of possible age-related decrements in phonetic processing. [Work supported by NIA.]