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ERIC Number: EJ851465
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Jul
Pages: 24
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0090-6905
Frequency and Category Factors in the Reduction and Assimilation of Function Words: EPG and Acoustic Measures
Shi, Rushen; Gick, Bryan; Kanwischer, Dara; Wilson, Ian
Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, v34 n4 p341-364 Jul 2005
Many studies have observed phonetic and phonological differences between function words and content words. However, as many of the most commonly cited function words are also very high in frequency, it is unclear whether these differences are the result of syntactic category or word frequency. This study attempts to determine whether syntactically defined function words are indeed phonologically and phonetically reduced or assimilated when word frequency is balanced. Three experiments were designed to distinguish the relative contributions of the factors of category and frequency on phonetic and phonological reduction and assimilation. Overall results suggest that syntactic category and word frequency interact with phonetic and phonological processes in a more complex way than previously believed. Experiment 1 measured final t/d dropping, a reduction process, using electropalatography (EPG). Experiment 2 examined vowel reduction using acoustic measures. In Experiment 3, palatalization, an assimilation process, was examined using EPG. Results showed that t/d dropping responds to the factor of syntactic category, whereas palatalization is affected by word frequency; vowel reduction responded to both factors, with a dominant syntactic category effect and a secondary within-category frequency effect. The implications of these findings for models of lexical representation and theories of language acquisition are discussed.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A