5th European Conference on Speech Communication and Technology

Rhodes, Greece
September 22-25, 1997


Arie H. van der Lugt

Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen, The Netherlands

A large amount of psycholinguistic research, phonetic research and research in speech technology has been dedicated to the problem of segmentation: how is speech segmented into words? The work reported here extends earlier findings by McQueen & Cox ([1]), who found that phonotactics are used by listeners as a cue to the location of word boundaries. The present investigation addresses the question of whether people can also use less extreme sequential probabilities as a segmentation cue. Hearing a combination of sounds that often occurs at the end of a word or syllable may facilitate recognition of a following word; hearing a combination of sounds that occurs often at the beginning of a word or syllable may facilitate recognition of a preceding word. In a word-spotting task some indications were found that people are sensitive to sequential probabilities. However, no effects were found that strongly support the hypothesis that people do indeed use these distributional properties of the lexicon in the segmentation of spoken language.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Lugt, Arie H. van der (1997): "SEQUENTIAL PROBABILITIES AS a CUE FOR SEGMENTATION", In EUROSPEECH-1997, 2151-2154.