Modern problems of speech (text) perception

Modern problems of speech (text) perception

In psychology the term “perception” is understood as the integrated, reflection of objects, situations and events, which appears during the immediate influence of the physical irritants on the organs of sense perception. The resulting perception image (from Latin perceptio, “perception, apprehension”), is submitted to examination and. correction, in the processes of practical activity, communication and scientific research.

Speech perception as the process of “processing”, semantic interpretation of the text – oral or written, during which the image of the text is formed, is the necessary element in the whole process of perception. All human perception systems participate in speech perception, and that, is, why perception depends on the laws of general physiology of perception.

Experimental research shows that text perception process is influenced by two important properties of the textintegrity and connectedness. The two differ according to the place they take in the hierarchy of text properties. Integrity correlates with the depth of perception, in other words, it moves downward, vertically. Connectedness is characterized by the correlation with a hierarchy of linguistic levels, each level having linear dependences. Thus, text perception is characterized by current formation of integrity within the limits of certain connectedness.

Text perception is accompanied by perception of the words that constitute it. Consequently, the models of the words which are kept in the language memory of language’s carriers, participate in the perception of coherent text. Memory also stores models of sounds (or Syllables). So, the boundaries between the three levels of perception – sensory, perceptive and semantic – are rather vague both “from above” (between semantic and perceptive levels), and “from below” (between sensory and perceptive levels).

V.B.Kasevych prefers to speak about the correlation of the two strategies of perception described above In his opinion, if we are to admit that a word should be considered as a unit the hearer deals with first, then we are also to admit that the given area of perceptive processes should be characterized by the movement from the unit of a higher level (a word) to the unit of a lower level (a phoneme). The scholar also acknowledges the possibility of a broader reading of the concept of downward perception: “…the process of perception begins with a hypothesis about the semantic characteristics of the perceived utterance, then this hypothesis is verified with the help of information, related to the qualities and properties of units of lower levels”.

At the same time V.B.Kasevych reminds, that a text due to its nature is a dynamic object, it develops in time. According to him, “at every given moment of time the hearer deals with a certain fragment of the object (text), that is in the process of formation, while the thing he has to comprehend is the object (text) as a whole”.