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Effects of perturbations in pitch of auditory feedback on the inflection of syllables during English speech phrases
Jay J. Bauer & Charles R. Larson

Twenty-one speakers of American English were asked to repeatedly inflect the pitch of either the first or second syllable of an English speech phrase while listening to amplified auditory feedback. Brief upward and downward perturbations in pitch of auditory feedback were introduced in real time shortly after vocal onset. Resultant changes in voice F0 due to perturbations in pitch were analyzed. Data indicate that auditory feedback was used in real-time to maintain voice F0 during normal English speech. Compensatory corrections in voice F0 due to the perturbations in pitch were prevalent during dynamic speech. However, voice F0 response latency was modulated across syllable boundaries according to syllable pitch inflection. Phase lags in the intended production of a speech phrase (~0.016 sec) were also prevalent. Voice F0 responses appear to help maintain the underlying suprasegmental meaning of a speech phrase by delaying the onset of the voice F0 response to coincide with the pitch-inflected syllable. The resultant voice F0 contour likely represents an interaction of the mechanisms initiating the voice F0 response and additional mechanisms initiating a phase lag. In general, these data have important implications in the development of more complete neural models of normal and disordered voice F0 control.

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