The perception of nasalized vowels in American English: An investigation of on-line use of vowel nasalization in lexical access
McDonough, J., Lehnert-LeHouillier, H., & Bardhan, N. P.
The perception of nasalized vowels in American English: An investigation of on-line use of vowel nasalization in lexical access. In Nasal 2009
The goal of the presented study was to investigate the use of coarticulatory vowel nasalization in lexical access by native speakers of American English. In particular, we compare the use of coart culatory place of articulation cues to that of coarticulatory vowel nasalization. Previous research on lexical access has shown that listeners use cues to the place of articulation of a
postvocalic stop in the preceding vowel. However, vowel nasalization as cue to an upcoming nasal
consonant has been argued to be a more complex phenomenon. In order to establish whether coarticulatory vowel nasalization aides in the
process of lexical access in the same way as place of articulation cues do, we conducted two perception experiments: an off-line 2AFC discrimination task and an on-line eyetracking study using the visual world paradigm. The results
of our study suggest that listeners are indeed able to use vowel nasalization in similar ways to place of articulation information, and that both types of cues aide in lexical access.