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ERIC Number: EJ991425
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-May
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 75
ISSN: ISSN-0278-7393
Lexical Representation of Schwa Words: Two Mackerels, but Only One Salami
Burki, Audrey; Gaskell, M. Gareth
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, v38 n3 p617-631 May 2012
The present study investigated the lexical representations underlying the production of English schwa words. Two types of schwa words were compared: words with a schwa in poststress position (e.g., mack"e"rel), whose schwa and reduced variants differ in a categorical way, and words with a schwa in prestress position (e.g., s"a"lami), whose variants differ in a noncategorical way. Participants named pseudohomophones and matched pseudowords corresponding to schwa and reduced variants of these words. Results revealed an advantage for pseudohomophones over matched pseudowords for both variants of poststress schwa words but only for schwa variants of prestress schwa words. As the pseudohomophone advantage is assumed to reflect the activation of a phonologically matching stored phonological representation, these results suggest that both variants of poststress schwa words are lexically represented while only schwa variants of prestress schwa words are. This result extends the proposal that words with two categorically distinct variants are stored in the production lexicon with 2 representations to another language and demonstrates that this 2-lexeme account does not generalize to pronunciation variants differing from one another in a noncategorical fashion. This finding challenges one of the widely shared assumption of generative models of word production: that content words have only 1 phonological representation. On the other hand, it provides further evidence in favor of another fundamental assumption of these models: that lexical representations are abstract sets of segments rather than fully detailed exemplars. (Contains 2 tables, 1 figure and 8 footnotes.)
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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
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom