Listeners' identification and discrimination of digitally manipulated sounds as prolongations

Norimune Kawai, E. Charles Healey, Thomas D. Carrell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


The present study had two main purposes. One was to examine if listeners perceive gradually increasing durations of a voiceless fricative categorically ("fluent" versus "stuttered") or continuously (gradient perception from fluent to stuttered). The second purpose was to investigate whether there are gender differences in how listeners perceive various duration of sounds as "prolongations." Forty-four listeners were instructed to rate the duration of the /∫/ in the word "shape" produced by a normally fluent speaker. The target word was embedded in the middle of an experimental phrase and the initial /∫/ sound was digitally manipulated to create a range of fluent to stuttered sounds. This was accomplished by creating 20 ms stepwise increments for sounds ranging from 120 to 500 ms in duration. Listeners were instructed to give a rating of 1 for a fluent word and a rating of 100 for a stuttered word. The results showed listeners perceived the range of sounds continuously. Also, there was a significant gender difference in that males rated fluent sounds higher than females but female listeners rated stuttered sounds higher than males. The implications of these results are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1102-1110
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics

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