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Oschkinat, Miriam and Hoole, Philip (2020): Compensation to real-time temporal auditory feedback perturbation depends on syllable position. In: Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, Vol. 148, No. 3: pp. 1478-1495

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Auditory feedback perturbations involving spectral shifts indicated a crucial contribution of auditory feedback to planning and execution of speech. However, much less is known about the contribution of auditory feedback with respect to temporal properties of speech. The current study aimed at providing insight into the representation of temporal properties of speech and the relevance of auditory feedback for speech timing. Real-time auditory feedback perturbations were applied in the temporal domain, viz., stretching and compressing of consonant-consonant-vowel (CCV) durations in onset + nucleus vs vowel-consonant-consonant (VCC) durations in nucleus + coda. Since CCV forms a gesturally more cohesive and stable structure than VCC, greater articulatory adjustments to nucleus + coda (VCC) perturbation were expected. The results show that speakers compensate for focal temporal feedback alterations. Responses to VCC perturbation were greater than to CCV perturbation, suggesting less deformability of onsets when confronted with temporally perturbed auditory feedback. Further, responses to CCV perturbation rather reflected within-trial reactive compensation, whereas VCC compensation was more pronounced and indicative of adaptive behavior. Accordingly, planning and execution of temporal properties of speech are indeed guided by auditory feedback, but the precise nature of the reaction to perturbations is linked to the structural position in the syllable and the associated feedforward timing strategies.

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