Phonologically determined asymmetries in vocabulary structure across languages
Cutler, A., Otake, T., & Bruggeman, L.
Phonologically determined asymmetries in vocabulary structure across languages. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 132
(2), EL155-EL160. doi:10.1121/1.4737596.
Studies of spoken-word recognition have revealed that competition
from embedded words differs in strength as a function of where
in the carrier word the embedded word is found and have further shown
embedding patterns to be skewed such that embeddings in initial position
in carriers outnumber embeddings in final position. Lexico-statistical
analyses show that this skew is highly attenuated in Japanese, a noninflectional language. Comparison of the extent of the asymmetry in the three Germanic languages English, Dutch, and German allows the source to
be traced to a combination of suffixal morphology and vowel reduction in unstressed syllables.