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

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003

Compensation for Phonological Assimilation in Perception: Evidence from Hungarian Liquid Assimilation

Holger Mitterer (1), Valeria Csepe (2), Leo Bomert (1)

(1) Universiteit Maastricht, The Netherlands
(2) Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Hungary

Phonological assimilations add to the invariance problem. It is generally accepted that assimilated word forms are only recognized as an instance of the intended word in phonological contexts in which assimilation is allowed. We examined the mechanisms that drive this compensation for assimilation by presenting Hungarian morphologically complex words and non-words to Hungarian and Dutch listeners in an identification task, a discrimination task and a passive-oddball task during which the ERPs were measured. All three measures showed evidence for compensation for assimilation. This is unaffected by the lexical status of the assimilated (non)word. Results were similar for Dutch and Hungarian listeners, although Dutch listeners were not familiar with the assimilation rule. ERPs results indicate that acoustic details influence the compensation process, and replicate the absence of a native-language influence. These results indicate that auditory processes contribute to compensation for assimilation.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Mitterer, Holger / Csepe, Valeria / Bomert, Leo (2003): "Compensation for phonological assimilation in perception: evidence from Hungarian liquid assimilation", In ICPhS-15, 2321-2324.