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

5pSC19. Perceptual assimilation of North German vowels to American English categories.

Sonja A. Trent

Brett H. Fitzgerald

Susan M. Crouse

Winifred Strange

Dept. of Commun. Sci. & Disord. and Psychol., Univ. of South Florida, 4202 E. Fowler Ave., Tampa, FL 33620-8150

Perceptual assimilation of NG vowels to AE categories was assessed with stimuli in which the vowels occurred in /hVp/ syllables spoken in citation form and in the sentence, ``Ich habe /hVp/ gesacht.'' Subjects were presented multiple tokens of 14 NG vowels produced by 4 male talkers. They selected the AE vowel category to which the NG vowel was most similar and rated its goodness-of-fit on a 7-point scale from ``English'' (7) to ``foreign-sounding'' (1). ``Identical'' vowels (transcribed as the same across languages) did not necessarily assimilate to the predicted category. ``New'' front rounded vowels /y, Y, (slashed oh), (oe ligature)/ assimilated to back rounded AE vowels. Perceptual goodness-of-fit was not always predicted from the phonetic description or acoustic similarity in F1/F2 space [B. H. Fitzgerald et al., J. Acoust. Soc. Am., this session]. Differences in modal identification response and goodness-of-fit were noted across citation versus sentence context and across individual speakers. Assimilation on the basis of intrinsic duration information was more consistent for syllables presented in sentences. These results have implications for studies of cross-language similarity which use citation-form stimuli. [Work supported by NIDCD.]