Scientific article
Open access

Boundaries versus Onsets in Syllabic Segmentation

Published inJournal of memory and language, vol. 45, no. 2, p. 177-199
Publication date2001

This study investigated the explicit syllabification of CVCV words in French. In a first syllable–reversal experiment, most responses corresponded to the expected canonical CV.CV segmentation, but a small proportion included the intervocalic consonant in both the first and second syllables, a result previously interpreted for English as indicating ambisyllabicity. Two further partial-repetition experiments showed that listeners systematically include the consonant in the onset of the second syllable, but also often include it in the offset of the first syllable. In addition, the assignment of the intervocalic consonant to the first and second syllables was differentially sensitive to the sonority of the consonant and to its spelling. We argue that the findings are inconsistent with the traditionally held boundary conception and instead support the view that distinct processes are involved in locating the onsets and the offsets of syllables. Onset determination is both more reliable and more dominant. Finally, we propose that syllable onsets serve as alignment points for the lexical search process in continuous spoken word recognition.

  • Syllable
  • Syllabification
  • Continuous speech recognition
  • Spoken production
  • Speech perception
  • Lexical segmentation
Citation (ISO format)
CONTENT, Alain, KEARNS, Ruth K., FRAUENFELDER, Ulrich Hans. Boundaries versus Onsets in Syllabic Segmentation. In: Journal of memory and language, 2001, vol. 45, n° 2, p. 177–199. doi: 10.1006/jmla.2000.2775
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal0749-596X

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