Lexical stress information modulates the time-course of spoken-word recognition
Reinisch, E., Jesse, A., & McQueen, J. M.
Lexical stress information modulates the time-course of spoken-word recognition. In Proceedings of Acoustics' 08
Segmental as well as suprasegmental information is used by Dutch listeners to recognize words. The time-course of the effect of suprasegmental stress information on spoken-word recognition was investigated in a previous study, in which we tracked Dutch listeners' looks to arrays of four printed words as they listened to spoken sentences. Each target was displayed along with a competitor that did not differ segmentally in its first two syllables but differed in stress placement (e.g., 'CENtimeter' and 'sentiMENT'). The listeners' eye-movements showed that stress information is used to recognize the target before distinct segmental information is available. Here, we examine the role of durational information in this effect. Two experiments showed that initial-syllable duration, as a cue to lexical stress, is not interpreted dependent on the speaking rate of the preceding carrier sentence. This still held when other stress cues like pitch and amplitude were removed. Rather, the speaking rate of the preceding carrier affected the speed of word recognition globally, even though the rate of the target itself was not altered. Stress information modulated lexical competition, but did so independently of the rate of the preceding carrier, even if duration was the only stress cue present.