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Laboratory Phonology

Journal of the Association for Laboratory Phonology

Ed. by Cole, Jennifer

IMPACT FACTOR 2015: 0.667
Rank 85 out of 179 in category Linguistics in the 2015 Thomson Reuters Journal Citation Report/Social Sciences Edition

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Word-types, not word-tokens, facilitate extraction of phonotactic sequences by adults

Peter T. Richtsmeier
Published Online: 2011-05-03 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/labphon.2011.005


Phonotactics – the permissibility of sound sequences within a word – correspond to lexical statistics, but controversy persists over which statistics are being tracked. In this study, lexical type and token counts were compared as they contributed to phonotactic extraction from an artificial lexicon. Young-adult participants were familiarized with a set of CVCCVC nonwords contextualized as a lexicon of Martian animal names. The type and token frequencies of word-medial consonant sequences within those names were varied systematically. Participants then rated new nonwords, containing the same medial sequences, on a 7-point scale for similarity to the Martian animal names. Higher ratings only followed high type frequency familiarization conditions, suggesting that word-types drove phonotactic extraction. Additionally, participants reversed the typical preference for high-frequency English sequences, likely because they rated nonwords according to their membership in an unknown language. This finding suggests cognitively separable tracking of artificial language statistics and preexisting representations.

About the article

Published Online: 2011-05-03

Published in Print: 2011-05-01

Citation Information: Laboratory Phonology, Volume 2, Issue 1, Pages 157–183, ISSN (Online) 1868-6354, ISSN (Print) 1868-6346, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/labphon.2011.005.

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© 2011 Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin/New York.Get Permission

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