The Speech Processing Lexicon
Neurocognitive and Behavioural Approaches
Ed. by Lahiri, Aditi / Kotzor, Sandra
Series:Phonology and Phonetics [PP] 22
- eBook (PDF)
- Publication Date:
- April 2017
- Copyright year:
Phonetic categories and phonological features: Evidence from the cognitive neuroscience of language
Blumstein, Sheila E.
Despite the central role that phonetic features and segments play in linguistic theory, there is debate about their status in language processing as well as the nature of their representations. In this chapter, we consider recent research examining evidence from the cognitive neuroscience of language that may not only inform but also help resolve this debate. Specifically, we investigate the neural systems underlying phonetic category and phonetic feature invariance, and the role of segments and features in lexical access. Results from a series of functional neuroimaging studies provide evidence that there is an invariant representation for phonetic categories as well as an invariant representation for more abstract phonetic features. The neural areas activated suggest that the source of phonetic category invariance reflects computations over phonetic category membership, and phonetic feature representations are acoustic in nature but are based on more abstract properties of speech rather than directly sensory processes. Additionally, lexical representations in both auditory word recognition and spoken word production include both segments and the features that underlie them.