Behavior reflects the (degree of) reality of phonological features in the brain as well
Behavior reflects the (degree of) reality of phonological features in the brain as well. In J. Trouvain, & W. J. Barry (Eds.
), Proceedings of the 16th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS 2007)
(pp. 127-130). Dudweiler: Pirrot.
To assess the reality of phonological features in
language processing (vs. language description),
one needs to specify the distinctive claims of
distinctive-feature theory. Two of the more farreaching
claims are compositionality and
generalizability. I will argue that there is some
evidence for the first and evidence against the
second claim from a recent behavioral paradigm.
Highlighting the contribution of a behavioral
paradigm also counterpoints the use of brain
measures as the only way to elucidate what is "real
for the brain".
The contributions of the speakers exemplify
how brain measures can help us to understand the
reality of phonological features in language
processing. The evidence is, however, not
convincing for a) the claim for underspecification
of phonological features—which has to deal with
counterevidence from behavioral as well as brain
measures—, and b) the claim of position
independence of phonological features.