Emergent Information-Level Coupling Between Perception and Production

Bob McMurray and Ashley Farris-Trimble

in The Oxford Handbook of Laboratory Phonology

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199575039
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Linguistics

 Emergent Information-Level Coupling Between Perception and Production

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  • Linguistics
  • Phonetics and Phonology
  • Cognitive Linguistics


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This article addresses the case studies explaining the mechanisms involved in production-perception coupling. One of the studies addresses online processing mechanisms, the second considers statistical learning mechanisms, and the third argues for the role of parsing as a unifying mechanism. Information-level coupling may arise as a consequence of a common processing principle that is interactive activation. This commonality may lead perception to reflect the distributional properties of production, even if coupling is not an organizing principle for either system. A fundamental issue in spoken-word recognition is time. The acoustic material comprising a word unfolds with time and at early points there is ambiguity. The interactive activation models describes that a small set of units are activated corresponding to the perceptual input. Activation then spreads to phonemes and words, resulting in the parallel activation of multiple interpretations of the signal at each level. Distributional learning can account for many of the developmental patterns, describing how infants acquire categories, and with some simple assumptions, it explains discrimination performance. Distributional learning also gives rise to informational coupling. Computing cues relative to expectations (C-CuRE) provides an insight to identify individual tokens and clusters in the input by progressively accounting for sources of variance in the signal.

Keywords: distributional learning; learning mechanisms; perceptual input; spoken-word recognition; adult-directed speech; computing cues relative to expectations

Article.  9704 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics ; Phonetics and Phonology ; Cognitive Linguistics

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