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Reaction time to temporally-displaced phoneme targets in continuous speech.


In seven experiments, reaction time (RT) was recorded to phoneme targets in sentences. By means of tape splicing or other experimental interventions preceding the target, speech information was or was not discarded, and targets were either temporally displaced "early" or "late" or remained on time." RT to displaced targets was slower than to on-time targets, except when the tape-splicing manipulation in effect presented coarticulatory target information in advance, in which case RT was faster than RT to on-time targets. The latter manipulation also produced faster RT than RT to the same targets in the original sentence, that is, that containing no experimental intervention at all. In three of the experiments, half the targets were contained in stressed syllables, half in unstressed syllables. Stressed and unstressed targets were affected differently, depending upon practice and other factors. Results were interpreted in terms of listener expectancies based on timing redundancy in continuous speech. They indicate an interaction between the effects of segmental and suprasegmental cues during ongoing perception.

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