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Re: Modifying speech

Fatima Husain wrote:

> Dear List,
> Sorry to barge into an interesting discussion, but -
> My lab wants to image subjects listening to normal and modified speech.
> We are trying to investigate semantic memory.

If you accept that the phoneme is the lowest order of semantics, then
that would suggest one might test using nonsense CV and CVC sounds.
They can be identified as parts of words (subjects can think of words that
start with a given CV for example).

Finally, have you seen the very interesting work of Cyma Van Petten?
Look at her abstract, JASA page 2643, Vol 108, #5, pt. 2, Nov 2000
Abstract 5aSC3 (Newport Beach CA meeting Friday Dec 8, 2000)

> The modified speech is generated from normal speech, retains more or less
> of the spectral features of the normal speech, yet is not pseudo-word
> like. The reason some of us don't like pseudo words is that, many subjects
> treat words and pseudo-words in the same manner, activating a mental
> lexicon and semantic memory (what we are interested in).
> We looked at reversed speech and low-pass filtered speech. But these were
> either too foreign-language-like (according to naive listeners) or too
> much like humming.
> I would be grateful if someone would suggest suitable methods of
> modifying speech to fulfill our (somewhat vague) requirements.
> Thanks,
> --fatima
> fhusain@cns.bu.edu
> fthusain@helix.nih.gov

Jont B. Allen
AT&T Labs-Research, Shannon Laboratory, E161
180 Park Ave., Florham Park NJ, 07932-0971
973/360-8545voice, x7111fax, http://www.research.att.com/~jba