Phonological Units in Spoken Word Production : Insights from Cantonese

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journal

19 Scopus Citations
View graph of relations

Author(s)

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere48776
Journal / PublicationPLoS ONE
Volume7
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 7 Nov 2012
Externally publishedYes

Abstract

Evidence from previous psycholinguistic research suggests that phonological units such as phonemes have a privileged role during phonological planning in Dutch and English (aka the segment-retrieval hypothesis). However, the syllable-retrieval hypothesis previously proposed for Mandarin assumes that only the entire syllable unit (without the tone) can be prepared in advance in speech planning. Using Cantonese Chinese as a test case, the present study was conducted to investigate whether the syllable-retrieval hypothesis can be applied to other Chinese spoken languages. In four implicit priming (form-preparation) experiments, participants were asked to learn various sets of prompt-response di-syllabic word pairs and to utter the corresponding response word upon seeing each prompt. The response words in a block were either phonologically related (homogeneous) or unrelated (heterogeneous). Participants' naming responses were significantly faster in the homogeneous than in the heterogeneous conditions when the response words shared the same word-initial syllable (without the tone) (Exps.1 and 4) or body (Exps.3 and 4), but not when they shared merely the same word-initial phoneme (Exp.2). Furthermore, the priming effect observed in the syllable-related condition was significantly larger than that in the body-related condition (Exp. 4). Although the observed syllable priming effects and the null effect of word-initial phoneme are consistent with the syllable-retrieval hypothesis, the body-related (sub-syllabic) priming effects obtained in this Cantonese study are not. These results suggest that the syllable-retrieval hypothesis is not generalizable to all Chinese spoken languages and that both syllable and sub-syllabic constituents are legitimate planning units in Cantonese speech production. © 2012 Wong et al.

Citation Format(s)

Phonological Units in Spoken Word Production : Insights from Cantonese. / Wong, Andus Wing-Kuen; Huang, Jian; Chen, Hsuan-Chih.

In: PLoS ONE, Vol. 7, No. 11, e48776, 07.11.2012.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journal