Some experiments on the sound of silence in phonetic perceptiona

Michael F. Dorman, Lawrence J. Raphael, Alvin M. Liberman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


The results of several experiments demonstrate that silence is an important cue for the perception of stop-consonant and affricate manner. In some circumstances, silence is necessary; in others, it is sufficient. But silence is not the only cue to these manners. There are other cues that are more or less equivalent in their perceptual effects, though they are quite different acoustically. Finally, silence is effective as a cue when it is part of an utterance that is perceived as having been produced by a single male speaker, but not when it separates utterances produced by male and female speakers. These findings are taken to imply that, in these instances, perception is constrained as if by some abstract conception of what vocal tracts do when they make linguistically significant gestures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1518-1532
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1979
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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