Facilitatory effects of vowel epenthesis on word processing in Dutch
SourceJournal of Memory and Language, 41, 1, (1999), pp. 59-77
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI OLO
SW OZ DCC CO
Journal of Memory and Language
Four experiments examined the effects on word processing of insertion of an optional epenthetic vowel in word-final consonant clusters in Dutch. Such epenthesis turns film for instance into fillem. In a word reversal task listeners treated words with and without epenthesis alike, as monosyllables, suggesting that the variant forms do not have separate access representations. In both lexical decision and word-spotting, response times to recognise words were significantly faster when epenthesis was present than when the word was presented in its canonical form without epenthesis. It is argued that addition of the epenthetic vowel makes the liquid consonants constituting the first member of a cluster more perceptible; a final phoneme-detection experiment confirmed that this was the case. These findings show that a transformed variant of a word, although it contacts the lexicon via the representation of the canonical form, can be more easily perceptible than that canonical form.
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