Temporary ambiguity in whispered word recognition: a semantic priming study

Abstract : We examined whether listeners use acoustic correlates of voicing to resolve lexical ambiguities created by whispered speech in which a key feature, the voicing, is missing. Three associative priming experiments were conducted. The results showed a priming effect with whispered primes that included an intervocalic voiceless consonant (/petal/ “petal”) when the visual targets (FLEUR “flower”) were presented at the offset of the primes. A priming effect emerged with whispered primes that included a voiced intervocalic consonant (/pedal/ “pedal”) when the delay between the offset of the primes and the visual targets (VELO “bike”) was increased by 50 ms. In none of the experiments, the voiced primes (/pedal/) facilitated the processing of the targets (FLEUR) associated with the voiceless primes (/petal/). Our results suggest that the acoustic correlates of voicing are used by listeners to recover the intended words. Nonetheless, the retrieval of the voiced feature is not immediate during whispered word recognition. https://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/uqkA9sPZNUngcuRGytVW/full?target=10.1080/20445911.2019.1573243 (for free access to the published version).
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Sophie Dufour, Yohann Meynadier. Temporary ambiguity in whispered word recognition: a semantic priming study. Journal of Cognitive Psychology, Taylor & Francis edition, 2019, 31 (2), pp.157-174. ⟨10.1080/20445911.2019.1573243⟩. ⟨hal-01994539⟩

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