Scientific article
Open access

Processing of illegal consonant clusters: A case of perceptual assimilation?

Publication date1998

Evidence is presented for a perceptual shift affecting consonant clusters that are phonotacti- cally illegal, albeit pronounceable, in French. They are perceived as phonetically close legal clusters. Specifically, word-initial /dl/ and /tl/ are heard as /gl/ and /kl/, respectively. In 2 phonemic gating experiments, participants generally judged short gates—which did not yet contain information about the 2nd consonant tl—as being dental stops. However, as information for the /!/ became available in larger gates, a perceptual shift developed in which the initial stops were increasingly judged to be velars. A final phoneme monitoring test suggested that this kind of shift took place on-line during speech processing and with some extratemporal processing cost. These results provide evidence for the automatic integration of low-level phonetic information into a more abstract code determined by the native phonological system.

  • Swiss National Science Foundation - 11-39553.93
Citation (ISO format)
HALLÉ, Pierre A. et al. Processing of illegal consonant clusters: A case of perceptual assimilation? In: Journal of experimental psychology. Human perception and performance, 1998, vol. 24, n° 2, p. 592–608. doi: 10.1037/0096-1523.24.2.592
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal0096-1523

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