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date: 19 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

For many decades, investigators emphasized the search for invariant aspects of the speech signal that might explain the ability to extract a speaker’s intended words despite wide variation in their acoustic shape. In contrast, over the past few decades, as the extraordinary range of phonetic variation has been revealed, the focus has shifted to documenting variation and determining the factors governing it. This review identifies two seemingly contradictory types of findings about connected speech: the extreme loss versus the concurrent preservation of word-form information. Based on these observations, a productive research strategy for understanding the planning and production of connected speech may be to focus on (1) the systematic nature of phonetic reduction patterns, making them a source of information rather than noise; (2) the ability of human listeners to interpret reduced and overlapped forms; and (3) the implications of these two ideas for speech production models.

Keywords: speech production planning, phrase-level phonetics, prosody, acoustic cues, phonological contrast, landmarks

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