Detection of liaison consonants in speech processing in French

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The goal of the present study is to better understand the mechanisms involved in the processing of liaison consonants by listeners in French. Previous work (Wauquier-Gravelines 1996) showed that liaison consonants are more difficult to detect than word-initial consonants in a phoneme-detection task. We examined to what extent such differences are attributable to the consonants’ phonetic properties, and we also compared the perception of liaison consonants with that of fixed word-final and word-medial consonants, as well as word-initial ones. The results suggest that liaison consonants have a specific perceptual status. Implications for both autosegmental and exemplar-based theories of liaison are discussed.


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