Date of Original Version
Abstract or Description
When members of a series of synthesized stop consonants varying in third-formant (F3) characteristics and varying perceptually from /da/ to /ga/ are preceded by /al/, human listeners report hearing more /ga/ syllables than when the members of the series are preceded by /ar/. It has been suggested that this shift in identification is the result of specialized processes that compensate for acoustic consequences of coarticulation. To test the species-specificity of this perceptual phenomenon, data were collected from nonhuman animals in a syllable "labeling" task. Four Japanese quail (Coturnix coturnix japonica) were trained to peck a key differentially to identify clear /da/ and /ga/ exemplars. After training, ambiguous members of a /da/–/ga/ series were presented in the context of /al/ and /ar/ syllables. Pecking performance demonstrated a shift which coincided with data from humans. These results suggest that processes underlying "perceptual compensation for coarticulation" are species-general. In addition, the pattern of response behavior expressed is rather common across perceptual systems.