Effect of Prosodic Context on Lexical Access: An Investigation of Korean Denasalization

Seulgi Shin, Annie Tremblay


This study investigates the effect of prosodic context on listeners’ interpretation of prosodically driven variations in lexical access. It does so by examining Korean listeners’ processing of words that begin with a denasalized nasal. In Korean, nasal-initial words have their initial consonant denasalized at the beginning of the Accentual Phrase (AP) [1-2]. Participants completed cross-modal priming tasks where they saw Korean target words that began with a nasal (e.g., noru ‘roe deer’) (Experiment 1) or plosive (e.g., toru ‘stealing a base’) (Experiment 2). The experimental auditory primes rhymed with the target but began with a denasalized nasal (e.g., /noru/); the control auditory primes were phonologically and semantically unrelated to the target (e.g., /tʃotɛ/ ‘invitation’). The primes were heard in AP-initial or AP-medial position. In Experiment 1, the denasalized primes facilitated the recognition of nasal-initial target words (compared to the control primes) in AP-initial position, but not in AP-medial position. In Experiment 2, there was no effect of prosodic context or priming condition, indicating that listeners interpreted denasalized nasals differently from plosives regardless of the prosodic context. These results suggest that listeners take prosodic context into account and are sensitive to prosodically driven fine-grained phonetic details in lexical access.


 DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2018-83

Cite as: Shin, S., Tremblay, A. (2018) Effect of Prosodic Context on Lexical Access: An Investigation of Korean Denasalization. Proc. 9th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2018, 408-412, DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2018-83.


@inproceedings{Shin2018,
  author={Seulgi Shin and Annie Tremblay},
  title={Effect of Prosodic Context on Lexical Access: An Investigation of Korean Denasalization},
  year=2018,
  booktitle={Proc. 9th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2018},
  pages={408--412},
  doi={10.21437/SpeechProsody.2018-83},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/SpeechProsody.2018-83}
}