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

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003

Metrical Priming in Speech Production

Clara C. Levelt (1), Niels O. Schiller (2), Paula Fikkert (3)

(1) Leiden University, The Netherlands
(2) University of Maastricht, The Netherlands
(3) University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands

In this paper we report on four experiments in which we attempted to prime the stress position of Dutch bisyllabic target nouns. These nouns, picture names, had stress on either the first or the second syllable. Auditory prime words had either the same stress as the target or a different stress (e.g., WORtel - Motor vs. koSTUUM - Motor; capital letters indicate stressed syllables in prime - target pairs). Furthermore, half of the prime words were semantically related, the other half were unrelated.
   In none of the experiments a stress priming effect was found. This could mean that stress is not stored in the lexicon. An additional finding was that targets with initial stress had a faster response than targets with a final stress. We hypothesize that bisyllabic words with final stress take longer to be encoded because this stress pattern is irregular with respect to the lexical distribution of bisyllabic stress patterns, even though it can be regular in terms of the metrical stress rules of Dutch.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Levelt, Clara C. / Schiller, Niels O. / Fikkert, Paula (2003): "Metrical priming in speech production", In ICPhS-15, 2481-2484.