Do listeners recover "deleted" final /t/ in German?

  • Reduction and deletion processes occur regularly in conversational speech. A segment that is affected by such reduction and deletion processes in many Germanic languages (e.g., Dutch, English, German) is /t/. There are similarities concerning the factors that influence the likelihood of final /t/ to get deleted, such as segmental context. However, speakers of different languages differ with respect to the acoustic cues they leave in the speech signal when they delete final /t/. German speakers usually lengthen a preceding /s/ when they delete final /t/. This article investigates to what extent German listeners are able to reconstruct /t/ when they are presented with fragments of words where final /t/ has been deleted. It aims also at investigating whether the strategies that are used by German depend on the length of /s/, and therefore whether listeners are using language-specific cues. Results of a forced-choice segment detection task suggest that listeners are able to reconstruct deleted final /t/ in about 45% of the times. The length of /s/ plays some role in the reconstruction, however, it does not explain the behavior of German listeners completely.

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Author:Frank Zimmerer, Henning ReetzGND
Parent Title (English):Frontiers in psychology
Publisher:Frontiers Research Foundation
Place of publication:Lausanne
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2014/07/17
Date of first Publication:2014/07/17
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2014/08/05
Tag:German; deleted t; natural speech processes; perception of deletion; segment reconstruction
Issue:Article 735
Page Number:10
Copyright © 2014 Zimmerer and Reetz. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Institutes:Sprach- und Kulturwissenschaften / Sprachwissenschaften
Dewey Decimal Classification:4 Sprache / 43 Deutsch, germanische Sprachen allgemein / 430 Germanische Sprachen; Deutsch
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0