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Brain Lang. 2001 Mar;76(3):266-81.

Contextual influences on phonetic identification in aphasia: the effects of speaking rate and semantic bias.

Author information

  • School of Communication Sciences and Disorders, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. shari.baum@mcgill.ca


Two experiments examined the influence of context on stop-consonant voicing identification in fluent and nonfluent aphasic patients and normal controls. Listeners were required to label the initial stop in a target word varying along a voice onset time (VOT) continuum as either voiced or voiceless ([b]/[p] or [d]/[t]). Target stimuli were presented in sentence contexts in which the rate of speech of the sentence context (Experiment 1) or the semantic bias of the context (Experiment 2) was manipulated. The results revealed that all subject groups were sensitive to the contextual influences, although the extent of the context effects varied somewhat across groups and across experiments. In addition, a number of patients in both the fluent and nonfluent aphasic groups could not consistently identify even endpoint stimuli, confirming phonetic categorization impairments previously shown in such individuals. Results are discussed with respect to the potential reliance by aphasic patients on higher level context to compensate for phonetic perception deficits.

Copyright 2001 Academic Press.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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