The effect of context speech rate in the recognition of English auxiliary verbs

The effect of context speech rate in the recognition of English auxiliary verbs
English auxiliary verbs; speech rate; temporal information; a goodness rating task
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음성음운형태론연구, v.20, no.1, pp.83 - 97
This paper investigates the context-dependent speech rate to perceive function words (i.e., auxiliary verbs). Whether the rate-dependent recognition is affected by the sequence of words with or without auxiliary verbs is examined. The experiment used two types of spoken sentences: (1) those with an auxiliary verb and (2) those in which the auxiliary verb was phonetically deleted. The recognition of auxiliary verbs was not greater for contexts with a normal or fast speech rate than for context temporal information (e.g., speech rate). Interestingly, the shift of context was not focused on the speech rate of the target word (i.e., auxiliary verb). Rather, the shift between the target and context in speech rate functioned as a cue to perceive the auxiliary verb. That is, the proportion of correctly perceived auxiliary verbs was greater when the target was manipulated to have a different speech rate from the context. When an auxiliary verb was deleted in the context, the participants reported recognizing, although the proportion of responses was very low for both the normal and fast speech rates. In the normal speech, the proportion was unchanged in terms of the goodness rating. However, another interesting finding was that in the fast speech rate, the recognition of auxiliary verbs increased when the goodness ratings were close to the poorest exemplar. This result is a counter example to the case of American English speakers. In the current study, the Korean participants learning English at a primary level were not accustomed to the rate of speech in American English. Based on the experiment results, this study implies that Korean students learning English should be taught in terms of rate-dependent context so that they can perceive the function words with reduction or deletion in American English.
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