Frequency Information in Speech Perception (Workshop)

Dozent(en)Tessa Bent, Indiana University/ Audrey Bürki, Universität Potsdam/ Cynthia Connine, Binghamton University
AnsprechpartnerHelena Levy, GRK “Frequenzeffekte”
Emailhelena.levy@frequenz.uni-freiburg.de
Termin29.-30. Mai 2017
OrtGroßer Sitzungssaal, Werthmannstr. 8, 79098 Freiburg

Spoken language consists of sound signals that are notoriously variable, gradient and noisy. Yet, these signals carry extremely rich information, including nuances of meaning as well as information about the speaker. As speaker-hearers, we evidently have the cognitive skills to retrieve and process all that information, and we draw on our knowledge of language to do so.

According to usage-based approaches, speech perception and processing are conditioned by prior experience with language. Thus, frequency information plays a crucial role in speech perception. Typically, units of different sizes (e.g. phonemes, syllables, words) or sequences that occur frequently are processed faster and with greater ease; their recognition is affected less by reduction or noise. In processing spoken words and phrases, listeners seem to match the input with a detailed knowledge of the frequencies of pronunciation variants. Listeners also draw on social information, treating variants according to their frequency in familiar accents and registers. In sentence processing frequency information guides expectations of upcoming items, and highly frequent multi-word sequences are stored and processed as single units (‘chunking’).

While there is mounting evidence that hearers make ample use of frequency information, many questions in the area of speech perception remain unanswered, as well as questions concerning the interplay of speech perception and production.

The workshop program contains presentations of current research on the effects of frequency on the perception and processing of spoken language, as well as a discussion of relevant questions, such as:

  • In what ways are effects in speech perception linked to preferences in speech production?
  • How are frequency, experience and familiarization correlated? Can one be used as a measure of the other?
  • Which levels of perception are sensitive to frequency information and how do the effects on the different levels interact in speech perception?

Keynote speakers:

Tessa Bent, Indiana University
Audrey Bürki, Universität Potsdam
Cynthia Connine, Binghamton University

Workshop “Frequency Information in Speech Perception” Abstract Spoken language consists of sound signals that are notoriously variable, gradient and noisy. Yet, these signals carry extremely rich information, including nuances of meaning as well as information about the speaker. As speaker-hearers, we evidently have the cognitive skills to retrieve and process all that information, and we draw on our knowledge of language to do so. According to usage-based approaches, speech perception and processing are conditioned by prior experience with language. Thus, frequency information plays a crucial role in speech perception. Typically, units of different sizes (e.g. phonemes, syllables, words) or sequences that occur frequently are processed faster and with greater ease; their recognition is affected less by reduction or noise. In processing spoken words and phrases, listeners seem to match the input with a detailed knowledge of the frequencies of pronunciation variants. Listeners also draw on social information, treating variants according to their frequency in familiar accents and registers. In sentence processing frequency information guides expectations of upcoming items, and highly frequent multi-word sequences are stored and processed as single units (‘chunking’). While there is mounting evidence that hearers make ample use of frequency information, many questions in the area of speech perception remain unanswered, as well as questions concerning the interplay of speech perception and production. The workshop program contains presentations of current research on the effects of frequency on the perception and processing of spoken language, as well as a discussion of relevant questions, such as: • In what ways are effects in speech perception linked to preferences in speech production? • How are frequency, experience and familiarization correlated? Can one be used as a measure of the other? • Which levels of perception are sensitive to frequency information and how do the effects on the different levels interact in speech perception? Keynote speakers: Tessa Bent, Indiana University Audrey Bürki, Universität Potsdam Cynthia Connine, Binghamton University

News

HPCL, HPSL and the GRK 1624 gratulate Bernd Kortmann and his team (Katja Roller und Marten Juskan) on winning the Instructional Development Award 2016. Awarded was the project “FREDDIE (FReiburg English Dialect Database for Instruction and E-learning) – Eine multimediale Plattform für forschendes, korpusbasiertes Lernen.”
If you want to learn more about the project, click here (German version).
The online version of FRED (“Freiburg English Dialect Corpus”) is accessible on the website of the UB Freiburg.

The HPSL was attributed the official Eucor - The European Campus label.

TV-Beitrag (Komi mit russischen Untertiteln) über das Komi-Dokumentationsprojekt der Freiburg Research Group in Saami Studies

Junge Forscher statt alte Studenten (Bericht, uni'campus, 03/2014)

Halten Graduiertenschulen was sie versprechen? (Ute Schulze und Valentin Klotzbücher, Forschung&Lehre 5/14

Pilotstudie Ausbildungs- und Karrierewege Hermann Paul School of Linguistics: Abschlussbericht

Newsletter Issue no. 6: Deutsch

Newsletter Issue no. 5: Deutsch

Newsletter Issue no. 4: English

Newsletter Issue no. 3: English

Newsletter Issue no. 1&2: German English

Scholarships

PhD Scholarships Hermann Paul Scholarships in Linguistics 2014

The Hermann Paul Scholarships in Linguistics 2014 in Freiburg went to Sonya Kinsey and Uliana Schöller. Congratulations!

The Hermann Paul Scholarships in Linguistics 2014 in Basel went to Carolina Spiegel and Burak S. Tekin. Congratulations!

PhD Scholarship Promotionskolleg Empirische Linguistik (PEL) 2014

The PEL scholarship 2014 went to Hanna Thiele. Congratulations!

Upcoming Events

2. August 2017, 9:00 Uhr
Kursprogramm: Überfachliche Kompetenzen HS 17

4.-6. September 2017
GAL-Research School „How do we know? Gesprächsanalytische Methoden zur Analyse von Wissen in der Interaktion"