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Sensation and Perception

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Speech Perception

Basic perceptual unit.



The smallest units of sound that if changed, would change the meaning of a word.

Sound depends on how articulated, shape of mouth, position of tongue, vocal folds, etc.


Position of Formats

Unique for each vowel.

Does not depend on preceding or trailing phoneme.



Frequency bands with relatively high amplitude in the harmonic spectrum of a vowel sound.

Can identify vowels based on relative frequency of 1st and 2nd formats.




Speech sounds produced by restricting the flow of air at one place or another along the path of the airflow from the vocal folds.

Closing or constriction of vocal tract.


Place of Articulation

The point in the vocal tract at which airflow is restricted, described in terms of the anatomical structures involved in creating the restriction.


Manner of Articulation

The nature of the restriction.



The influence of one phoneme on the acoustic properties of another, due to the articulatory movements required to produce them in sequence.


Voice Onset Time (VOT)

In the production of stop consonants, the interval between the initial burst of frequencies and the onset of voicing.



Initially capable of discriminating all phonemes from all languages.

6 months-start to show initial evidence of categorical perception.

12 months-adult-like discriminations (native language).

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