phonetic recalibration

Speech perception and generalization across talkers

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We recently submitted a research review on “Speech perception and generalization across talkers and accents“, which provides an overview of the critical concepts and debates in this domain of research. This manuscript is still under review, but we wanted to share the current version. Of couse, feedback is always welcome.

In this paper, we review the mixture of processes that enable robust understanding of speech across talkers despite the lack of invariance. These processes include (i) automatic pre-speech adjustments of the distribution of energy over acoustic frequencies (normalization); (ii) sensitivity to category-relevant acoustic cues that are invariant across talkers (acoustic invariance); (iii) sensitivity to articulatory/gestural cues, which can be perceived directly (audio-visual integration) or recovered from the acoustic signal (articulatory recovery); (iv) implicit statistical learning of talker-specific properties (adaptation, perceptual recalibration); and (v) the use of past experiences (e.g., specific exemplars) and structured knowledge about pronunciation variation (e.g., patterns of variation that exist across talkers with the same accent) to guide speech perception (exemplar-based recognition, generalization).

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Congratulations: NSF Graduate Fellowships

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Congratulations to Dave Kleinschmidt for receiving a NSF Graduate Fellowship for his work on computational models of phonological category acquisition and phonological adaptation. Congratulations also to Esteban Buz for an honorable mention and excellent reviews for his work on using the iterative artificial language learning paradigm to study language change and the morpho-syntactic level.

Dave just finished a write-up of the first steps in his research on phonological adaptation. As soon as the reviewer comments are in, we will post the paper for comments on

Update 11/30/11: Dave’s paper is now available on

Congratulations to Dave for receiving an honorable mention for the Best Student Paper award at the ACL workshop. An update on this paper won the Best Student Talk at AMLaP 2011, Paris, France.