ESCA Workshop on Audio-Visual Speech Processing (AVSP'97)

September 26-27, 1997
Rhodes, Greece

Effects of Phonetic Variation and The Structure of The Lexicon on The Uniqueness of Words

E. T. Auer Jr., L. E. Bernstein, R. S. Waldstein, P. E. Tucker

Spoken Language Processes Laboratory, House Ear Institute, Los Angeles, California, USA

Relatively little is known about the optical phonetic speech characteristics to which speechreaders are attuned. However, it is known that phonetic context can affect visual confusability of phonemes. In Study 1, behavioral experiments were performed to examine in detail effects of context-sensitive phonetic variation on the visual confusability of consonants and vowels. In Study 2, computational experiments were performed to assess the importance of patterns of context-sensitive visual confusability on the uniqueness of words in the language. Results from Study 1 further support the conclusion that phonetic context influences phoneme confusability. The computational experiments in Study 2 provide evidence that the distribution of words in English substantially preserves lexical uniqueness even when phonetic variability is taken into account.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Auer Jr., E. T. / Bernstein, L. E. / Waldstein, R. S. / Tucker, P. E. (1997): "Effects of phonetic variation and the structure of the lexicon on the uniqueness of words", In AVSP-1997, 21-24.