Recent evidence suggests that the relations between lexical items influence the ease with which words can be discriminated and subsequently be recognized. Lexical items may influence each other via lateral inhibition during the activation process of lexical candidates  or via competition from neighbours at a decision stage . The present study tried to distinguish between these alternatives by employing a cross-modal repetition priming paradigm. The results show that the number of competitors had an effect on low-, but not on high-frequency targets. This result is congruent with a lateral inhibition account and it underscores the relevance of lateral inhibition as a mechanism for continuous speech segmentation.
Bibliographic reference. Vroomen, Jean / Gelder, Beatrice de (1995): "Lexical inhibition in spoken word recognition", In EUROSPEECH-1995, 1711-1714.