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Scientific article
English

Intrinsic advantage for canonical forms in spoken word recognition: myth or reality?

Publication date2017
Abstract

In connected speech, many words are produced with a pronunciation that differs from the canonical form. How the speech recognition system deals with this variation is a fundamental issue in the language processing literature. The present study examines the roles of variant type, variant frequency, and context in the processing of French words with a canonical (schwa variant, e.g. semaine “week”) and a non-canonical pronunciation (no-schwa variant, s'maine). It asks whether the processing of canonical pronunciations is faster than the processing of non-canonical ones. Results of three lexical decision experiments reveal that more frequent variants are recognised more quickly, and that there is no advantage for canonical forms once variant frequency is accounted for. Two of these experiments further failed to find evidence that the context in which the words are presented modulate the effect of variant type. These findings are discussed in the light of spoken word recognition models.

Keywords
  • Spoken word recognition
  • Phonological variation
  • Exposure frequency
  • French schwa
  • Context
Citation (ISO format)
BUERKI FOSCHINI, Audrey Damaris et al. Intrinsic advantage for canonical forms in spoken word recognition: myth or reality? In: Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 2017, p. 1–18. doi: 10.1080/23273798.2017.1388412
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Article (Accepted version)
accessLevelPrivate
Identifiers
ISSN of the journal2327-3798
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