Shatzman, K. B., & McQueen, J. M. (2006). Prosodic knowledge affects the recognition of newly acquired words. Psychological Science,17(5), 372-377. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9280.2006.01714.x.
An eye-tracking study examined the involvement
of prosodic knowledge—specifically, the knowledge
that monosyllabic words tend to have longer durations
than the first syllables of polysyllabic words—in the recognition
of newly learned words. Participants learned new
spoken words (by associating them to novel shapes):
bisyllables and onset-embedded monosyllabic competitors
(e.g., baptoe and bap). In the learning phase, the duration
of the ambiguous sequence (e.g., bap) was held constant.
In the test phase, its duration was longer than, shorter
than, or equal to its learning-phase duration. Listeners’
fixations indicated that short syllables tended to be interpreted
as the first syllables of the bisyllables, whereas long
syllables generated more monosyllabic-word interpretations.
Recognition of newly acquired words is influenced by
prior prosodic knowledge and is therefore not determined
solely on the basis of stored episodes of those words.