Acoustic determinants of perceptual center (P-center) location

S.M. Marcus

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117 Citations (Scopus)
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Morton, Marcus, and Frankish (1976) defined "perceptual center," or "P-center," as a neutral term to describe that which is regular in a perceptually regular sequence of speech sounds. This paper describes a paradigm for the determination of P-center location and the effect of various acoustic parameters on empirically determined P-center locations. It is shown that P-center location is affected by both initial consonant duration and, secondarily, subsequent vowel and consonant duration. A simple two-parameter model involving the duration of the whole stimulus is developed and gives good performance in predicting P-center location. The application of this model to continuous speech is demonstrated. It is suggested that there is little value in attempting to determine any single acoustic or articulatory correlate of P-center location, or in attempting to define P-center location absolutely in time. Rather, these results indicate that P-centers are a property of the whole stimulus and reflect properties of both the production and perception of speech.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-256
JournalPerception & Psychophysics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1981
Externally publishedYes


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