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          Institute: MPI für Psycholinguistik     Collection: Phonological Learning for Speech Perception     Display Documents



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ID: 300907.0, MPI für Psycholinguistik / Phonological Learning for Speech Perception
Phonological abstraction in the mental lexicon
Authors:McQueen, James M.; Cutler, Anne; Norris, Dennis
Language:English
Date of Publication (YYYY-MM-DD):2006
Title of Journal:Cognitive Science
Volume:30
Issue / Number:6
Start Page:1113
End Page:1126
Review Status:Peer-review
Audience:Experts Only
Abstract / Description:A perceptual learning experiment provides evidence that the mental lexicon cannot consist solely of
detailed acoustic traces of recognition episodes. In a training lexical decision phase, listeners heard an
ambiguous [f–s] fricative sound, replacing either [f] or [s] in words. In a test phase, listeners then made
lexical decisions to visual targets following auditory primes. Critical materials were minimal pairs that
could be a word with either [f] or [s] (cf. English knife–nice), none of which had been heard in training.
Listeners interpreted the minimal pair words differently in the second phase according to the training received
in the first phase. Therefore, lexically mediated retuning of phoneme perception not only influences
categorical decisions about fricatives (Norris, McQueen, & Cutler, 2003), but also benefits recognition
of words outside the training set. The observed generalization across words suggests that this
retuning occurs prelexically. Therefore, lexical processing involves sublexical phonological abstraction,
not only accumulation of acoustic episodes.
External Publication Status:published
Document Type:Article
Communicated by:Anne Cutler
Affiliations:MPI für Psycholinguistik
Identifiers:DOI:10.1207/s15516709cog0000_79
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