Speech Prosody 2008

Campinas, Brazil
May 6-9, 2008

Auditory Event Structure and Speech

Fred Cummins

School of Computer Science and Informatics, University College Dublin, Ireland

Auditory events structure much of the perceived world. Sometimes, two or more sounds are perceived as related, and pertaining to a single event. No well-worked out taxonomy yet exists for auditory events. We consider two-part sounds, perceived as cause and effect (loosely interpreted). Many such sounds occur in ambient environments, and of those, many have suggestively right- or left-headed types of structure. We illustrate these event types, and suggest that familiarity with this type of event structure may motivate their phonologization into familiar structures such as unmarked CV syllable structure. An innate tendency to parse the auditory world into "events" may also facilitate the bootstrapping process of the child language learner. This work is an initial attempt to move the discussion of speech prosody towards a grounding in auditory ecology.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Cummins, Fred (2008): "Auditory event structure and speech", In SP-2008, 631-634.