auditory acoustic relations and effects on language inventory
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Auditory-acoustic relations and effects on language inventory. Carrie Niziolek [carrien] 24.922 5 may 2004. Introduction. Quantal relations both acoustic-articulatory and auditory-acoustic . How does the peripheral auditory system shape responses to acoustics?

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auditory acoustic relations and effects on language inventory

Auditory-acoustic relations and effects on language inventory

Carrie Niziolek [carrien]


5 may 2004

  • Quantal relations both acoustic-articulatory and auditory-acoustic.
    • How does the peripheral auditory system shape responses to acoustics?
    • How does the central auditory system amplify learned contrasts?
purpose of report
Purpose of report:
  • to address feature constraints imposed by the auditory system
  • to address perceptibility as a tool for guiding feature constraints in a language
    • Does perceptibility (and, by extension, quantalness) affect survival in a language?
categorical perception
Categorical perception
  • A continuous change in a variable is perceived as instances of discrete categories
  • Between-cat discrimination is better than within-cat discrimination (enhanced category boundaries)
  • CP is induced through category learning, or merely acoustic exposure
speech perception
Speech perception
  • Motor theory: phonemes are processed by special phonetic mechanisms of hearing (learned internal lang-production model)
  • Preverbal infants and nonverbal animals share categorical perception boundaries
  • What decoding processes do our auditory systems have in common?
feature constraints
Feature constraints
  • Auditory system needs 20 ms to perceive temporal ordering (less than 20 ms = one auditory event?)
auditory acoustic relations
Auditory-acoustic relations
  • Eimas et al. (1971) used a bilabial VOT continuum to show that English infants better discriminate across-boundary stimuli
  • Eilers et al. (1979) showed that Spanish infants also have greatest sensitivity across the English boundary
  • Evidence for an auditorily-determined boundary
    • Do more languages have an English-like boundary than not?
non speech aud acoust relations
Non-speech aud-acoust relations
  • Non-linear acoustic to auditory mapping: natural auditory sensitivities

Use sawtooth waves to test perception: plucks or bows?

non speech aud acoust relations9
Non-speech aud-acoust relations
  • Non-linear acoustic to auditory mapping: natural auditory sensitivities
    • Large-target regions: small variations
    • Thresholds, regions of instability (~40ms)
range effects
Range effects
  • Input range affects perception: is boundary merely at midpoint of range?
perceptibility in turkish
Perceptibility in Turkish
  • Turkish [h] deletion
    • Occurs in contexts where lower perceptibility is predicted
  • Speech taking advantage of perceptual constraints
optimizing language contrasts
Optimizing language contrasts
  • Language evolution will tend to converge on maximally distinct phonemes
    • Maximize perceptual distance: vowel dispersion
    • Maximize ease of articulation: find a stable acoustic region that allows for a relatively imprecise gesture
  • Stevens K. On the quantal nature of speech. J. Phonetics (1989) 17, 3-45.
  • Harnad, S. Psychophysical and cognitive aspects of categorical perception: A critical overview, in Harnad, Stevan, Eds. Categorical Perception: The Groundwork of Cognition (1987), chapter 1, pages pp. 1-52. Cambridge University Press.
  • Howell, P. & Rosen, S. (1984) Natural auditory sensitivities as universal determiners of phonemic contrasts. Linguistics211: 205-235
  • Kuhl PK and Miller JD: Speech perception by the chinchilla. Science, 190: 69-72. 1975.
  • Mielke J. The interplay of speech perception and phonology: experimental evidence from Turkish. Phonetica 2003 Jul-Sep;60(3):208-29.
  • Gao E, Suga N. Experience-dependent corticofugal adjustment of midbrain frequency map in bat auditory system. Neurobiology 1998 Oct;95(21):12663-12670.
neural measures of perception
Neural measures of perception
  • Lateral posterior STG
    • Acoustic-phonetic processing: activation from words, pseudowords, and reversed speech
    • Not critical for discrimination of non-speech auditory stimuli (tones, noise)
    • Disputed: other human vocalizations? (coughing)
  • Anterior STG
  • Inferior frontal cortex
organization of speech circuits
Organization of speech circuits
  • Model of functional circuits that are critical for speech perception
    • Functional subdivisions in left STG
      • Anterior STG
        • Posterior: phonological
        • Anterior: sentence processing
      • Posterior STG
        • Anterior: acoustic-phonetic
        • Posterior: phonological
        • Temporoparietal junction: lexical-semantic
organization of speech circuits16
Organization of speech circuits
  • Hierarchical organization
    • Acoustic-phonetic processing: local posterior network
    • Increasingly distributed networks as processing becomes more complex
  • Modular and distributed cortical circuits
cortical perception
Cortical perception
  • Acoustic-phonetic processes localized to the middle-posterior region of left STG
  • Increased cortical distribution for higher-level speech perception tasks
    • Dissociation implies functional subdivisions, hierarchical organization
corticofugal pathways
Corticofugal pathways
  • i.e., how the cortex affects processing in lower auditory centers
  • Acoustic cues enhanced or suppressed
    • Positive feedback to subcortical neurons “matched” in tuning to an acoustic parameter
    • Lateral inhibition to “unmatched” neurons