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ERIC Number: EJ920594
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Apr
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 68
ISSN: ISSN-0096-1523
The Mental Lexicon Is Fully Specified: Evidence from Eye-Tracking
Mitterer, Holger
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, v37 n2 p496-513 Apr 2011
Four visual-world experiments, in which listeners heard spoken words and saw printed words, compared an optimal-perception account with the theory of phonological underspecification. This theory argues that default phonological features are not specified in the mental lexicon, leading to asymmetric lexical matching: Mismatching input ("pin") activates lexical entries with underspecified coronal stops ("tin"), but lexical entries with specified labial stops ("pin") are not activated by mismatching input ("tin"). The eye-tracking data failed to show such a pattern. Although words that were phonologically similar to the spoken target attracted more looks than did unrelated distractors, this effect was symmetric in Experiment 1 with minimal pairs ("tin-pin") and in Experiments 2 and 3 with words with an onset overlap ("peacock-teacake"). Experiment 4 revealed that /t/-initial words were looked at more frequently if the spoken input mismatched only in terms of place than if it mismatched in place and voice, contrary to the assumption that /t/ is unspecified for place and voice. These results show that speech perception uses signal-driven information to the fullest, as was predicted by an optimal perception account. (Contains 5 figures, 3 tables, and 3 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Netherlands