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

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003


Lexical Bias in Phonological Speech Errors: Phoneme-to-Word Feedback or Output Editing?

Sieb G. Nooteboom

Utrecht University, The Netherlands

This paper attempts to answer two questions: (a) What is the cause of lexical bias in phonological speech errors? (b) Is there phoneme-to-word feedback in speech production? An experiment is reported adapted from Baars, Motley, and MacKay (1975), eliciting word-word and nonword-nonword spoonerisms. Three modifications were made: (1) There was ample time for overt corrections. (2) Phonetic distance between targets and errors was used as an independent variable. (3) Response times were measured. Results on the incidence of spoonerisms convincingly show that lexical bias is caused by nonwords being more often rejected and repaired than real words in inner speech by self-monitoring. Results on response latencies clearly demonstrate phoneme-to-word feedback in speech production. It is argued here that phoneme-to-word feedback may be an unavoidable side-effect of our own perception of inner speech for the purpose of self-monitoring.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Nooteboom, Sieb G. (2003): "Lexical bias in phonological speech errors: phoneme-to-word feedback or output editing?", In ICPhS-15, 2249-2252.