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

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003

Effects of Vocabulary Acquisition on Lexical Competition in Speech Perception and Production

M. Gareth Gaskell, Nicolas Dumay

University of York, UK

Three experiments examined the roles of time and exposure frequency in lexicalization of novel words. Participants learnt novel items (e.g., cathedruke) of varying frequency that overlapped with existing words (e.g., cathedral). The effect of learning on lexical competition was tested by measuring responses to the existing words. In lexical decision (Experiment 1), low frequency novel items facilitated responses to existing words immediately after exposure, but had no effect a week later, whereas high frequency items produced inhibition both immediately and a week later. The inhibitory effects indicated that the novel items had engaged in lexical competition. In single word shadowing (Experiment 2) and naming (Experiment 3), all effects were facilitatory, suggesting that the main impact in these cases was on speech production. We interpret these results in terms of the influence of vocabulary acquisition on the competition processes involved in speech perception and production.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Gaskell, M. Gareth / Dumay, Nicolas (2003): "Effects of vocabulary acquisition on lexical competition in speech perception and production", In ICPhS-15, 1485-1488.