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ERIC Number: EJ1126642
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Jan
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1092-4388
English Listeners Use Suprasegmental Cues to Lexical Stress Early during Spoken-Word Recognition
Jesse, Alexandra; Poellmann, Katja; Kong, Ying-Yee
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, v60 n1 p190-198 Jan 2017
Purpose: We used an eye-tracking technique to investigate whether English listeners use suprasegmental information about lexical stress to speed up the recognition of spoken words in English. Method: In a visual world paradigm, 24 young English listeners followed spoken instructions to choose 1 of 4 printed referents on a computer screen (e.g., "Click on the word 'admiral'"). Displays contained a critical pair of words (e.g., "admiral"--"admi'ration") that were segmentally identical for their first 2 syllables but differed suprasegmentally in their 1st syllable: One word began with primary lexical stress, and the other began with secondary lexical stress. All words had phrase-level prominence. Listeners' relative proportion of eye fixations on these words indicated their ability to differentiate them over time. Results: Before critical word pairs became segmentally distinguishable in their 3rd syllables, participants fixated target words more than their stress competitors, but only if targets had initial primary lexical stress. The degree to which stress competitors were fixated was independent of their stress pattern. Conclusions: Suprasegmental information about lexical stress modulates the time course of spoken-word recognition. Specifically, suprasegmental information on the primary-stressed syllable of words with phrase-level prominence helps in distinguishing the word from phonological competitors with secondary lexical stress.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Institutes of Health (DHHS)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: R01DC012300