ExLing 2010 - Third Workshop on Experimental Linguistics

Athens, Greece
August 25-27, 2010

How Context Affects Perception: Judging Distress and Linguistic Content in Forensic Audio Recordings

Lisa Roberts, Peter French

Department of Language & Linguistic Science, University of York, UK; J. P. French Associates, York, UK

In order to assess the role of context on the perception of speech sounds, extracts of speech material from authentic forensic cases were played to two groups of listeners (experienced vs inexperienced forensic phoneticians) in two conditions (with and without sequential context). Listeners were asked to categorise each extract according to a four-way scale of perceptible distress and rate each extract according to a five-point scale of perceptible linguistic content. Findings show that extracts played without context are perceived as reflecting higher degrees of distress and lower levels of linguistic content. Experienced phoneticians performed more consistently as a group and were less prone to changing their responses across the two conditions.

Index Terms. perception, distress, forensic, context, linguistic content

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Roberts, Lisa / French, Peter (2010): "How context affects perception: judging distress and linguistic content in forensic audio recordings", In ExLing-2010, 153-156.