15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-15)

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003


Representational Specificity of Lexical Form in the Perception of Spoken Words

C. T. McLennan, P. A. Luce, J. Charles-Luce

University at Buffalo, USA

Information-processing theories of spoken word recognition posit that perception consists of a series of stages, with representations becoming successively more abstract. These mediated-access models have been challenged by direct-access models, which assume input maps directly onto lexical representations. These models differ as to whether processing levels intervene between recoding and lexical representation. We previously examined the status of intermediate representations by exploring allophonic variation. We tested whether flaps map onto their underlying phonemic counterparts, consistent with mediated-access. We found that flaps primed their carefully-articulated counterparts (e.g., casual rater primed careful rater and raider) and vice versa. We argued that phonological ambiguity results in the activation of underlying representations. However, our flaps were also lexically ambiguous. The present research examines whether such priming is lexically- or sublexically-mediated by examining phonological ambiguity in the absence of lexical ambiguity. The results provide insights into when abstract representations are activated during spoken word processing.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  McLennan, C. T. / Luce, P. A. / Charles-Luce, J. (2003): "Representational specificity of lexical form in the perception of spoken words", In ICPhS-15, 825-828.