LING 497 - Capstone Seminar
Section: 002 Speech Perception
Term: FA 2018
Subject: Linguistics (LING)
Department: LSA Linguistics
Waitlist Capacity:
Enforced Prerequisites:
LING 313, 315 and 316.
May be elected twice for credit. May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:

In typical conversational interactions, humans are highly accurate perceivers of speech. We have little difficulty recognizing the sounds of speech and assigning a meaningful interpretation to sequences of speech sounds. Yet the problems that we encounter in some listening situations, such as difficulties hearing differences between sounds in a non-native language (sometimes even after years of experience with that language), hint at the complexity of perceptual processing. The complexity is also apparent when we consider the problems that speech researchers confront when programming computers to recognize human speech.

This course investigates how listeners extract a linguistic message from the input acoustic stream. The course begins by considering the nature of the acoustic signal, and how systematic acoustic variation structures the signal that serves as input to the listener. We will then turn to experimental work on speech perception that demonstrates that perceptual processing is not a simple one-to-one mapping between acoustic property and linguistic percept, but rather involves "decoding" the acoustics in ways that depend on phonetic context, the listener's native language, sociolinguistic factors, and much more. We will consider as well the dominant theories of speech perception and theoretical issues that have driven speech perception research for over 50 years, including the foundational question of whether speech perception differs from other types of auditory processing.

The course also introduces students to the relation between theory and experimentation, and to experimental design, in this cross-disciplinary field. This goal is addressed in two ways. First, we will read and assess the primary literature for a focus topic: the influence of linguistic experience on speech perception. Through this lens, students will get a detailed picture of how specific theoretical questions are translated into an experimental design, and how those results in turn lead to theoretical revisions and engender new questions. Second, the course will take a hands-on approach to the experimental study of speech perception. Students will participate in classic perception experiments in order to better understand the phenomena as well as the experimental methods. In addition, small groups of class participants will design and execute their own perception experiment.

Course Requirements:

No data submitted

Intended Audience:

No data submitted

Class Format:

No data submitted

LING 497 - Capstone Seminar
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
MW 11:30AM - 1:00PM
002 (SEM)
TuTh 10:00AM - 11:30AM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

Although portions of the Byrd & Mintz text are required reading for this course, you do not need to purchase it unless you want your own copy to mark up and keep. I have enough copies of the text that each of you could borrow one for use throughout the semester, to be returned to me at the end of the term.
ISBN: 9781405157995
Discovering speech, words, and mind, Author: Dani Byrd and Toben H. Mintz., Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell 2010
Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

Click the button below to view historical syllabi for LING 497 (UM login required)

View Historical Syllabi
The CourseProfile (ART) system, supported by the U-M Provost’s 3rd Century Initiative through a grant to the Office of Academic Innovation, provides additional information about: course enrollments; academic terms and instructors; student academic profiles (school/college, majors), and previous, concurrent, and subsequent course enrollments.

CourseProfile (ART)