The effect of vowel context on the visual perception of consonants
Hayes, Myra Lynn
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The effect of vowel context on the visual perception of consonants was evaluated by employing a visual consonant identification task. Twenty consonants were produced in CV (Consonant-Vowel) syllables with each of the vowels /a,i,u/. Ten participants were presented with a video recording of these syllables, without an audio signal, and were asked to identify the stimulus consonants. An analysis of variance of the subjects' consonant identifications revealed that no significant difference was observed in the number of consonants perceived correctly within each vowel context. The consonants were then divided into ten homophenous clusters for further analysis. A second analysis of variance demonstrated a significant difference in the perception of the homophenous groups. The /u/ vowel context was found to be significantly less facilitating than the /a/ or /i/ contexts for dividing the consonants into homophenous categories. An information transfer procedure was utilized to evaluate the amount of information transmitted visually for the consonant production features of nasality, voicing, stop, affrication, duration, and place. The feature of place was found to be transmitted most effectively. Information concerning features of nasality and voicing were observed to be minimally transferred through visual perception. For the features of manner of production—stop, affrication and duration—information was moderately transmitted.