We have proposed that consonants give cues primarily about the lexicon, whereas vowels carry cues about syntax. In a study supporting this hypothesis, we showed that when segmenting words from an artificial continuous stream, participants compute statistical relations over consonants, but not over vowels. In the study reported here, we tested the symmetrical hypothesis that when participants listen to words in a speech stream, they tend to exploit relations among vowels to extract generalizations, but tend to disregard the same relations among consonants. In our streams, participants could segment words on the basis of transitional probabilities in one tier and could extract a structural regularity in the other tier. Participants used consonants to extract words, but vowels to extract a structural generalization. They were unable to extract the same generalization using consonants, even when word segmentation was facilitated and the generalization made simpler. Our results suggest that different signal-driven computations prime lexical and grammatical processing.

Finding Words and Rules in a Speech Stream

Bonatti, Luca L.
2008

Abstract

We have proposed that consonants give cues primarily about the lexicon, whereas vowels carry cues about syntax. In a study supporting this hypothesis, we showed that when segmenting words from an artificial continuous stream, participants compute statistical relations over consonants, but not over vowels. In the study reported here, we tested the symmetrical hypothesis that when participants listen to words in a speech stream, they tend to exploit relations among vowels to extract generalizations, but tend to disregard the same relations among consonants. In our streams, participants could segment words on the basis of transitional probabilities in one tier and could extract a structural regularity in the other tier. Participants used consonants to extract words, but vowels to extract a structural generalization. They were unable to extract the same generalization using consonants, even when word segmentation was facilitated and the generalization made simpler. Our results suggest that different signal-driven computations prime lexical and grammatical processing.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10278/3715135
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