Second European Conference on Speech Communication and Technology

Genova, Italy
September 24-26, 1991


Detection Times for Vowels Versus Consonants

Brit van Ooyen, Anne Cutler, Dennis Norris

MRC Applied Psychology Unit, Cambridge, UK

This paper reports two experiments with vowels and consonants as phoneme detection targets in real words. In the first experiment, two relatively distinct vowels were compared with two confusible stop consonants. Response times to the vowels were longer than to the consonants. Response times correlated negatively with target phoneme length. In the second, two relatively distinct vowels were compared with their corresponding semivowels. This time, the vowels were detected faster than the semivowels. We conclude that response time differences between vowels and stop consonants in this task may reflect differences between phoneme categories in the variability of tokens, both in the acoustic realisation of targets and in the representation of targets by subjects.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Ooyen, Brit van / Cutler, Anne / Norris, Dennis (1991): "Detection times for vowels versus consonants", In EUROSPEECH-1991, 1451-1454.