On the relation between speech perception and speech production

Jennifer S. Pardo, Robert E. Remez

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Speech perception is often described in reference to production. Classic accounts of speech perception favored features of production because instrumental means for describing speech sound did not yet exist. With the advent of the sound spectrograph, accounts moved to describe linguistic types as sounds, but the theoretical momentum of the implied symmetry of perception and production endured. This chapter offers a critique of the idea that the objects of speech perception are motor, and that perception succeeds by resort to motor functions. In assessing the claims, we consider arguments and evidence from linguistic phonetics, indexical variation, development, and neurology. In each of these basic concerns, a claim of simple parity between perception and production is possible only by denying fundamental differences in elementary units and in the functions of productive and receptive language. Instead, perception and production appear to be coordinated but neither reciprocal nor recruited for each other’s function.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Handbook of Speech Perception
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9781119184096
ISBN (Print)9781119184089
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2021


  • Human cognitive function
  • Linguistic perception
  • Motor theory
  • Neuroscience
  • Phonemic typology
  • Phonetic expression
  • Speech perception
  • Talker variability


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