Holistic Processing in Speech Perception: Experts’ and Novices’ Processing of Isolated Cantonese Syllables

Tianyin LiuUniversity of Hong Kong
Janet Hui-wen HsiaoUniversity of Hong Kong

Abstract

Holistic processing is an expertise marker in visual perception. Here we tested participants’ perception of Cantonese syllables through composite paradigm commonly used for measuring holistic processing in vision research. We found that participants were more holistic in processing syllable initials than finals, possibly because initials are shorter and more easily combined with neighboring segments. More importantly, experts’ perception of syllable initials was strongly affected by finals (i.e., holistic processing), even when the initials were separated or disconnected from finals; whereas in novices, holistic processing gradually decreased with segment separation and disconnection. As for syllable final perception, experts were strongly influenced by initials, yet not when the segments were separated/disconnected. In contrast, novices showed little holistic processing in all conditions. These results showed that experts’ perception of syllable parts were more influenced by neighboring segments, suggesting that holistic processing may also be an expertise marker in auditory perception.

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Holistic Processing in Speech Perception: Experts’ and Novices’ Processing of Isolated Cantonese Syllables (419 KB)



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