Perception of temporal order in vowel sequences with and without formant transitions

Michael F. Dorman, James E. Cutting, Lawrence J. Raphael

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


Notes that temporal-order perception of phoneme segments in running speech is much superior to temporal-order perception in repeating vowel sequences. The more rapid rates possible in running speech may be due largely to the presence of formant transitions. In a series of 5 experiments with 39 college students and 23 laboratory staff members it was observed that many temporal-order misjudgments of repeating vowels could be explained in terms of auditory stream segregation, triggered for the most part by discontinuities in 1st-formant frequencies of adjacent vowels. Streaming, however, could be suppressed by formant transitions appropriate for the perception of stop consonants and by continuous transitions resembling those in coarticulated vowels. At rapid sequence rates, when the constraints of auditory streaming were removed, correct temporal-order identification was limited by linguistic transformations of vowels into other phoneme segments. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)121-129
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1975
Externally publishedYes


  • adults
  • vowel sequences with vs without formant transitions, perception of temporal order, college students &

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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