What is Cognitive Science
Speech perception and phonology: How they interact (and how they don't).
Dr. Shigeto Kawahara
Thursday, October 16, 2008, 12:00pm - 07:00pm
Rutgers University, Department of Linguistics
In this talk, I address the following general issue: how speech perception and phonology interact and how they don't? I first discuss how factors in speech perception affect phonological patterns (how we organize sounds). I show that, based on a phonological analysis and experimental studies of Japanese voiced consonants, perceptibility plays a crucial role in shaping novel phonological patterns. It will be also argued however that phonology is flexible enough to be able to handle patterns that make little phonetic sense, when sound changes come into picture.
Next I turn around and ask how our phonological knowledge affects speech perception. Based on a cross-linguistic study on the perception of duration, I show that while the perception of speech stimuli is affected by our native knowledge, the perception of non-speech stimuli is not.
Overall, I conclude that (i) speech perception and phonological patterns are closely tied to each other, (ii) but they are nevertheless independent systems.
"What is Cognitive Science?"
This lunchtime talks series is designed to introduce the University community to issues in Cognitive Science. Cognitive Science is one the the few fields where modern developments in computer science and artificial intelligence promise to shed light on classical problems in psychology and the philosophy of the mind. Ancient questions of how we see the world, understand language, and reason, and questions such as 'how a material system can know about the outside world', are being explored with the powerful new conceptual prosthetics of computer modeling.
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