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Segmentation of Speech

Segmentation of speech refers to the human ability to identify the boundaries of discrete language units (e.g., phonemes, syllables, words) in the continuous speech signal. Although the speech signal has many silent parts, these are not necessarily related to the boundaries of language units or pauses between boundaries. For instance, some of these silent portions can be due to speech articulation (e.g., stops closure). This identification process, which is automatic and fast for adults when listening to a familiar language, relies on several cues that work in a probabilistic way, merging information from different linguistic sources: lexico-semantic, syntactic, and prosodic. However, word segmentation cues are not completely reliable and they are language-specific. Native language experience plays an important role in defining relevant cues for speech ...

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