The use of prosodic information in word recognition
Cutler, A., & Clifton, Jr., C.
The use of prosodic information in word recognition. In H. Bouma, & D. G. Bouwhuis (Eds.
), Attention and performance X: Control of language processes
(pp. 183-196). London: Erlbaum.
In languages with variable stress placement, lexical stress patterns can convey information about word identity. The experiments reported here address the question of whether lexical stress information can be used in word recognition. The results allow the following conclusions:
1. Prior information as to the number of syllables and lexical stress patterns of words and nonwords does not facilitate lexical decision responses (Experiment 1).
2. The strong correspondences between grammatical category membership and stress pattern in bisyllabic English words (strong-weak stress being associated primarily with nouns, weak-strong with verbs) are not exploited in the recognition of isolated words (Experiment 2).
3. When a change in lexical stress also involves a change in vowel quality, i.e., a segmental as well as a suprasegmental alteration, effects on word recognition are greater when no segmental correlates of suprasegmental changes are involved (Experiments 2 and 3).
4. Despite the above finding, when all other factors are controlled, lexical stress information per se can indeed be shown to play a part in word-recognition process (Experiment 3).