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Sine-wave and noise-vocoded sine-wave speech in a tone language: Acoustic details matter

Rosen, S; Hui, SN; (2015) Sine-wave and noise-vocoded sine-wave speech in a tone language: Acoustic details matter. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America , 138 (6) pp. 3698-3702. 10.1121/1.4937605. Green open access

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Abstract

Sine-wave speech (SWS) is a highly simplified version of speech consisting only of frequency- and amplitude-modulated sinusoids representing the formants. That listeners can successfully understand SWS has led to claims that speech perception must be based on abstract properties of the stimuli far removed from their specific acoustic form. Here it is shown, in bilingual Cantonese/English listeners, that performance with Cantonese SWS is improved by noise vocoding, with no effect on English SWS utterances. This manipulation preserves the abstract informational structure in the signals but changes its surface form. The differential effects of noise vocoding likely arise from the fact that Cantonese is a tonal language and hence more reliant on fundamental frequency (F0) contours for its intelligibility. SWS does not preserve tonal information from the original speech but does have false tonal information signalled by the lowest frequency sinusoid. Noise vocoding SWS appears to minimise the tonal percept, which thus interferes less in the perception of Cantonese. It has no effect in English, which is minimally reliant on F0 variations for intelligibility. Therefore it is not only the informational structure of a sound that is important but also how its acoustic detail interacts with the phonological structure of a given language.

Type: Article
Title: Sine-wave and noise-vocoded sine-wave speech in a tone language: Acoustic details matter
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1121/1.4937605
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.4937605
Language: Finnish
Additional information: The following article appeared in: Rosen, S; Hui, SN; (2015) Sine-wave and noise-vocoded sine-wave speech in a tone language: Acoustic details matter. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 138 (6) pp. 3698-3702, and may be found at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.4937605. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and AIP Publishing.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Speech, Hearing and Phonetic Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1478345
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