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  • Author or Editor: Mária Gósy x
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The words making up a speaker’s mental lexicon may be stored as abstract phonological representations or else they may be stored as detailed acoustic-phonetic representations. The speaker’s articulatory gestures intended to represent a word show relatively high variability in spontaneous speech. The aim of this paper is to explore the acoustic-phonetic patterns of the Hungarian word akkor ‘then, at that time’. Ten speakers’ recorded spontaneous speech with a total duration of 255 minutes and containing 286 occurrences of akkor were submitted to analysis. Durational and frequency patterns were measured by means of the Praat software. The results obtained show higher variability both within and across speakers than it had been expected. Both the durations of the words and those of the speech sounds, as well as the vowel formants, turned out to significantly differ across speakers. In addition, the results showed considerable within-speaker variation as well. The correspondence between variability in the objective acoustic-phonetic data and the flexibility and adaptive nature of the mental representation of a word will be discussed.For the perception experiments, two speakers of the previous experiment were selected whose 48 words were then used as speech material. The listeners had to judge the quality of the words they heard using a five-point scale. The results confirmed that the listeners used diverse strategies and representations depending on the acoustic-phonetic parameters of the series of occurrences of akkor .

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According to their traditional phonetic definition, voiceless alveolar stops are unaspirated in Hungarian. The voiceless period following their release, however, seems to contain turbulent noise components, similarly to the case of stops identified as aspirated in other languages. The goal of this investigation was to describe the acoustic-phonetic patterns of burst and post-burst voiceless period of Hungarian /t/-realizations. The results show that many of these stops can be considered as slightly aspirated.

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During speaking, the mental lexicon is accessed (i) to select the necessary words, and (ii) to retrieve their phonological and syntactic patterns. However, the nature of real-time activation of words and phonological rules is largely unknown. In Hungarian, voicing assimilation is a relatively strong phonological process prevailing both within and across words. While a lot is known about its phonological nature as well as its phonetic outcome, the temporal patterns of its implementation during speech production have not been analyzed yet. This paper deals with the temporal coding of voicing assimilation (i) in language acquisition, (ii) in spontaneous speech (of subjects of various ages), and (iii) in repetition tasks. Results show that (i) by the age of 4 Hungarian-speaking children acquire this phonological rule without mistakes, (ii) in spontaneous speech successful voicing assimilation depends on certain time limits partly depending also on the total temporal organization of speech coding, and (iii) without the higher-level semantic and syntactic organization of speech (shadowing task), subjects are not able to plan the encoding of voicing assimilation processes as securely as they do in spontaneous speech.

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Developmental dysphasia is a specific and primary disorder of oral language development which occurs in children with normal hearing and normal intelligence, having neither objective neurological diseases nor emotional or communicative disorders, and is characterised by more serious deficiencies in perception than in production processes. The relevant literature has mainly been focusing on expressive linguistic skills so far; whereas with respect to the mechanism of speech perception, only certain component processes have been investigated. The present paper presents pioneering work in exploring specific perception disorders in dysphasic children and discusses interrelationships of the operation of component processes within the total system of speech perception. On the basis of the foregoing, delayed speech and the dissociation of production and perception are discussed in the framework of current theories of language acquisition and hypotheses concerning the operation of defective processes.

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The interaction between pauses and the retrieval of the desired lexemes in the process of word production involves controversies that are worth investigating. The temporal analysis of word retrieval was carried out in a ‘tip-of-the-tongue’ elicitation experiment while pauses signaling the speaker’s word finding trouble were measured also in spontaneous speech. Acoustic–phonetic data confirmed the existence of specific temporal organization of various lexical retrieval problems that occur similarly within one word and also in word seeking, in restarts and in restarts with morphological change in an agglutinative language.

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There are numerous hypotheses concerning the structure, size, and strategies of adults’ mental lexicon. This is the first time, however, that children’s mental vocabularies are analysed using the technique of free word associations (with the participation of two hundred 12-year-old and two hundred 13-year-old pupils). The analysis focuses on both quantitative and qualitative characteristics of the data like types of associations, lexical representations, distribution of word categories or semantic analysis of words. Comparisons are also made with a very similar material found in the Hungarian literature that provides a unique opportunity to look at the differences of the mental lexicon after 60 years. The discussion concerns (i) the patterns of the tested children’s mental lexicon (including the individual performances) and (ii) vocabulary changes seen as a multifactorial consequence of the progress of time. The hypothesis about the speed of lexical access being a definitive factor in the development of the mental lexicon has been confirmed and may be applied to other languages as well.

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The duration of the vowel and the nasal was analyzed in the casual pronunciation of Hungarian words containing the sequence V n .C, where ‘.’ is a syllable boundary and C is a stop, affricate, fricative, or approximant. It was found that due to anticipatory coarticulation the duration of n is significantly shorter before fricatives and approximants than before stops and affricates.A teaching algorithm was used to distinguish between stops/affricates and fricatives/approximants in V n C sequences. We used an approach to the classification of C by means of the support vector machine (SVM) and the properties of Radial basis function (RBF) kernel (using MATLAB, version 7.0). The results show close to 95% correct responses for the stop/affricate vs. fricative/approximant distinction of C, as opposed to about 60% correct responses for the classification of the voicing feature of C.

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Magyar Pszichológiai Szemle
Authors: István Fekete, Mária Gósy, Rozália Eszter Ivády and Péter Kardos

DianePecherés RolfA. Zwaan(szerk.): Grounding cognition: The role of perception and action in memory, language, and thinking (Fekete István)     253 CsépeValéria: Az olvasó agy (Gósy Mária) 256 Kormos, Judit: Speech production and second language acquisition (Ivády Rozália Eszter)      260 MarosánGyörgy: Hogyan készül a történelem? (Kardos Péter) 263

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