UK Data Service data catalogue record for:

Effects of processing load on speech segmentation

Title details

SN: 850106
Title: Effects of processing load on speech segmentation
Persistent identifier: 10.5255/UKDA-SN-850106
Depositor: Sven Mattys, University of Bristol
Principal investigator(s): Mattys, S, University of Bristol
Sponsor(s): Economic and Social Research Council
Grant number: RES-000-22-2173


The citation for this study is:

Mattys, S. (2009). Effects of processing load on speech segmentation. [data collection]. UK Data Service. SN: 850106,

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Subject Categories

Media, communication and language


Abstract copyright data collection owner.

The goal of this research project is to improve our understanding of the perceptual and cognitive factors contributing to the segmentation of fluent speech. Speech-segmentation research investigates how listeners identify word boundaries in the ongoing stream of sounds. There is ample evidence that the mechanisms supporting segmentation can be categorised as Lexical-semantic, or knowledge-driven, ie, resulting from expectations based on word knowledge, meaning, and syntax. Sub-lexical, or signal-driven, ie, arising from phonological and phonetic cues at word boundaries. However, the way in which these mechanisms operate in natural environments is largely unknown. In this study, the grant holder sets out to explore the effects of everyday processing demands such as attentional and memory loads on listeners' relative reliance on knowledge- and signal-driven segmentation. A key question is whether the nature of the processing load (lexical-semantic vs. sub-lexical) affects the relative weights ascribed to knowledge-driven vs. signal-driven segmentation or whether such weights are impervious to concurrent processing demands. Thus, this research aims to place the segmentation problem within the larger context of attention, memory and effort, and hence, to bring speech-segmentation models closer to ecological validity.

Coverage, universe, methodology

Dates of fieldwork: 12 February 2007 - 11 February 2008
Country: United Kingdom
Observation units: Individuals
Kind of data: Alpha-numeric
Method of data collection: Perceptual ratings on 11-point scale

Administrative and access information

Date of release:
First edition: 29 January 2009
Latest edition: 10 July 2017 (minor amendments only)
Copyright: Sven Mattys, University of Bristol
Access conditions: The Data Collection is available for download to users registered with the UK Data Service.
Availability: UK Data Service
Contact: Sven Mattys, University of Bristol


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