Colloquium: Eleanor Chodroff

Dr. Eleanor Chodroff will be giving a colloquium entitled “Structured variation in speech production and perception.”  All are welcome to attend.


Abstract: Talkers vary extensively in the phonetic realization of speech sounds. This variation contributes substantially to the lack of invariance problem in speech perception in that there is no one-to-one mapping between the physical realization of speech and its intended linguistic category. With the increasing availability of large spoken corpora, we can now quantify the extent and limits of this variation across dozens to hundreds of talkers, which can help reveal the structure of phonetic variability. Structured variation, defined as phonetic covariation among speech sounds, has important implications for the phonetics-phonology interface, as well as for generalized perceptual adaptation to novel talkers. For example, talker-specific voice onset time (VOT) is strongly correlated among aspirated stop consonants, such that a talker with a long VOT for [pʰ] will also have a long VOT for [kʰ]. These relations among speech sounds indicate constraints on speech production, which I discuss under a principle of uniformity. These constraints are evaluated in several speech sounds using large spoken corpora. I then present evidence that listeners make use of structured variation in generalized adaptation to novel talkers.



Note: This event *is* eligible to fulfill LOC requirements.