Vowel perception under prominence: Dual roles for F0 and duration

Jeremy Steffman, Wei Zhang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract / Description of output

Prosodic prominence modulates vowel production and acoustics. In the present study we test if the same effects play out in perception. We test perception of four American English vowel contrasts, varying formants and duration along a continuum. We test how F0-based prominence modulates vowel categorization, and explore the role of vowel duration as an intrinsic and prominence-lending cue. We find that F0-based prominence modulates vowel perception, dependent on vowel height. High vowels undergo perceptual recalibration in line with hyperarticulation, non-high vowels instead reflect sonority expansion. Lengthening of the vowel is interpreted as an intrinsic vowel quality cue, not as prominence. However, both F0-based prominence and duration interact with formants: more prominent F0 and longer duration enhance categorization along the formant continuum, showing a stronger influence of formant cues under prominence. Results thus show a dual influence for F0 and duration. Both independently impact categorization, and additionally mediate formant cue use.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 20th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences
EditorsRadek Skarnitzl, Jan Volín
Place of PublicationPrague
PublisherGuarant International
ISBN (Electronic)9788090811423
Publication statusPublished - 10 Aug 2023
Event20th International Conference of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS) - Prague Congress Centre, Prague, Czech Republic
Duration: 7 Aug 202311 Aug 2023


Conference20th International Conference of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS)
Abbreviated titleICPhS 2023
Country/TerritoryCzech Republic
Internet address

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • speech perception
  • vowels
  • prominence
  • sonority expansion
  • hyperarticulation


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