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Production and perception of French stops by moderately deaf subjects

Noting that voicing errors among the hearing impaired arise from the phonetic complexity of homorganic plosives and that the English-speaking deaf encounter difficulties in the pronunciation of the aspirated /ptk/, the present authors tested the hypothesis that similar difficulties would be encountered by French-speaking deaf individuals. 12 moderately deaf French-speaking 12-20 yr olds, with hearing losses varying around 60 db, participated. Results show that Ss encountered difficulties in the production of the prevoiced /bdg/, which requires a precise temporal delay between the onset of laryngeal vibrations and the release of oral closure. It is noted that the rapid sequential delivery of these 2 articulatory gestures enables the speaker to sustain the voice up to the end of the closure, which has decisive importance for voicing perception. Data show that Ss who correctly produced prevoicing were generally able to perceive the voicing feature. Although the place of articulation of the stops was not better perceived than their voicing category, most Ss were able to produce the place distinctions perfectly. The role of perceptual feedbacks in the mastering of articulatory gestures is discussed. (German & French abstracts) (37 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2005 APA, all rights reserved)



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