How much does orthography influence the processing of reduced word forms? Evidence from novel-word learning about French schwa deletion
Number of pages
SourceThe Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 71, 11, (2018), pp. 2378-2394
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The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
SubjectDI-BCB_DCC_Theme 1: Language and Communication; Language & Communication; Learning pronunciation variants for words in a foreign language: Towards an ecologically valid theory based on experimental research and computational modeling; Psycholinguistics; Speech Production and Comprehension; The challenge of reduced pronunciation variants in conversational speech for foreign language listeners: experimental research and computational modeling
This study examines the influence of orthography on the processing of reduced word forms. For this purpose, we compared the impact of phonological variation with the impact of spelling-sound consistency on the processing of words that may be produced with or without the vowel schwa. Participants learnt novel French words in which the vowel schwa was present or absent in the first syllable. In Experiment 1, the words were consistently produced without schwa or produced in a variable manner (i.e., sometimes produced with and sometimes produced without schwa). In Experiment 2, words were always produced in a consistent manner, but an orthographic exposure phase was included in which words that were produced without schwa were either spelled with or without the letter <e>. Results from naming and eye-tracking tasks suggest that both phonological variation and spelling-sound consistency influence the processing of spoken novel words. However, the influence of phonological variation outweighs the effect of spelling-sound consistency. Our findings therefore suggest that the influence of orthography on the processing of reduced word forms is relatively small.
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