ERIC Number: EJ778673
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Nov
Reference Count: 0
The Role of Prosodic Boundaries in the Resolution of Lexical Embedding in Speech Comprehension
Salverda, Anne Pier; Dahan, Delphine; McQueen, James M.
Cognition, v90 n1 p51-89 Nov 2003
Participants' eye movements were monitored as they heard sentences and saw four pictured objects on a computer screen. Participants were instructed to click on the object mentioned in the sentence. There were more transitory fixations to pictures representing monosyllabic words (e.g. "ham") when the first syllable of the target word (e.g. "hamster") had been replaced by a recording of the monosyllabic word than when it came from a different recording of the target word. This demonstrates that a phonemically identical sequence can contain cues that modulate its lexical interpretation. This effect was governed by the duration of the sequence, rather than by its origin (i.e. which type of word it came from). The longer the sequence, the more monosyllabic-word interpretations it generated. We argue that cues to lexical-embedding disambiguation, such as segmental lengthening, result from the realization of a prosodic boundary that often but not always follows monosyllabic words, and that lexical candidates whose word boundaries are aligned with prosodic boundaries are favored in the word-recognition process.
Descriptors: Sentences, Cues, Eye Movements, Word Recognition, Auditory Stimuli, Visual Stimuli, Comprehension, Speech Communication, Syllables
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
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