Journal article

Japanese Perceptual Epenthesis is Modulated by Transitional Probability

Alexander Kilpatrick, Shigeto Kawahara, Rikke Bundgaard-Nielsen, Brett Baker, Janet Fletcher

Language and Speech | SAGE Publications | Published : 2020

Abstract

Perceptual epenthesis is the perception of illusory vowels in consonantal sequences that violate native phonotactics. The consensus has been that each language has a single, predictable candidate for perceptual epenthesis, that vowel which is most minimal (i.e., shortest and/or quietest). However, recent studies have shown that alternate epenthetic vowels can be perceived when the perceptual epenthesis of the minimal vowel would violate native co-occurrence restrictions. We propose a potential explanation for these observed patterns: speech perception, and thus also vowel perceptual epenthesis, is modulated by transitional probability whereby epenthetic vowels must conform to the language sp..

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