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LINGUIST List 18.2868

Tue Oct 02 2007

Diss: Cog Sci/Morphology/Phonology/Psycholing: Felty: 'Context Effe...'

Editor for this issue: Luiza Newlin Lukowicz <luizalinguistlist.org>

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        1.    Robert Felty, Context Effects in Spoken Word Recognition of English and German by Native and Non-native Listeners

Message 1: Context Effects in Spoken Word Recognition of English and German by Native and Non-native Listeners
Date: 02-Oct-2007
From: Robert Felty <robfeltyindiana.edu>
Subject: Context Effects in Spoken Word Recognition of English and German by Native and Non-native Listeners
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Institution: University of Michigan
Program: Department of Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2007

Author: Robert Albert Felty

Dissertation Title: Context Effects in Spoken Word Recognition of English and German by Native and Non-native Listeners

Dissertation URL: http://robfelty.com/academic/abstract.html

Linguistic Field(s): Cognitive Science

Subject Language(s): English (eng)
                            German, Standard (deu)

Dissertation Director:
Patrice Speeter Beddor
Jose Benki
Andries Coetzee
Robert Kyes

Dissertation Abstract:

Spoken word recognition involves integrating acoustic/auditory information
extracted from the signal with linguistic knowledge, including sentential
and discourse context, as well as the frequency of the words in the signal,
and the similarity of target words to other words in the mental lexicon.
Recent research on visual word recognition has shown that morphology may
also affect lexical access, and that the effects of morphology on lexical
access may be language-specific. This study investigates the effect of
morphology on spoken word recognition using two languages which share many
phonological characteristics but differ in key aspects of morphological

Four separate experiments investigated open-set spoken word recognition in
noise using English and German disyllabic words and nonwords, testing both
native and non-native listeners of each language. Results from native
listeners showed facilitatory effects of lexical status and lexical
frequency, as well as inhibitory effects of neighborhood density,
consistent with previous studies using English CVC stimuli. In addition,
the results showed a processing advantage for monomorphemic words over
bimorphemic words, indicating that morphology also has an influence on
spoken word recognition. The processing advantage of monomorphemes was
greater for native listeners of German than of English, which is taken as
evidence that the morphological structure of the language plays a key role
in the influence of morphology on spoken word recognition. Results from
non-native listener experiments were largely consistent with the native
listener results, suggesting that non-native listeners are sensitive to the
same context effects as native listeners, although the size of the context
effects were generally somewhat smaller for non-native listeners,
suggesting that the amount of exposure to a language can also affect

No current models of spoken word recognition can account for all of the
effects found in this study. Full storage models cannot account for effects
of morphology, while morphological decomposition models cannot account for
neighborhood density effects. Therefore, a revised version of the
Neighborhood Activation Model (Luce & Pisoni, 1998) of spoken word
recognition is proposed which posits that words are stored whole in the
lexicon, and that in addition to orthographic, phonological, semantic, and
frequency information, lexical entries also contain morphological information.

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