14th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-14)

San Francisco, CA, USA
August 1-7, 1999


Lexical Competition in Spoken Word Recognition: A Cross-Modal Phonological Priming Study

Frédéric Isel (1), Nicole Bacri (2)

(1) Max-Planck-Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, Leipzig, Germany
(2) Laboratoire de Psychologie Expérimentale, Université René Descartes-CNRS, Paris, France

Partial overlaps in initial position between prime and target usually give rise to a null effect or to inhibitory effects. Priming effects are interpreted as resulting either from competition among lexical forms that present phonological similarity or from a decisional bias. In this experiment, the competitor set was strongly reduced. Auditory primes were nonwords containing a single initial-embedded word that served as visual target. These initial-embedded words could not recombine with the following phonemes to make the beginning of longer words. To reduce strategic effects, the proportion of related pairs was fixed at 12.5%. Initial overlaps gave rise to facilitatory priming effects. When the competition is strongly reduced, a partial overlap is sufficient for word recognition, provided that the match between a part of the input and a lexical form is complete. A connectionist account that locates competition at the lexical level best explains the differential activation of lexical forms.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Isel, Frédéric / Bacri, Nicole (1999): "Lexical competition in spoken word recognition: a cross-modal phonological priming study", In ICPhS-14, 1941-1944.