Darwin, C. J. School of Psychology, University of Sussex, Sussex, United Kingdom.
Last reviewed:June 2020
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- Perception and development of speech categories
- Listening in the speech mode
- Words and continuous speech
- Hearing-impaired individuals
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
The totality of the perceptual processes necessary to distinguish, recognize, and interpret speech sounds. In the broadest sense, speech perception refers to how an individual hears and understands what others are saying (Fig. 1). More narrowly, speech perception is viewed as the way that a listener can interpret the sound that a speaker produces as a sequence of discrete linguistic categories, such as phonemes (small contrastive units of sound in speech), syllables, or words. See also: Hearing (human); Perception; Phonetics; Psycholinguistics; Sound; Speech
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