ExLing 2010 - Third Workshop on Experimental Linguistics

Athens, Greece
August 25-27, 2010

Is that a bnik I see? Testing phonotactics Using Word-Picture Matching

Vsevolod Kapatsinski, Lamia Haddad Johnston

Department of Linguistics, University of Oregon, USA

Phonotactic knowledge is typically tested using metalinguistic wordlikeness judgment tasks. We introduce a new method for testing phonotactics, where subjects are asked to match a set of pictures of novel objects with a larger set of pseudowords, only some of which are phonotactically legal. The subjects tend to pick the pseudowords that are phonotactically legal in their language and leave the illegal ones unassigned. We compare the results of the word-picture matching to a traditional rating task and show that the two tasks produce somewhat different results despite sharing some (25%) of the variance. We argue for methodological pluralism in the study of phonotactics.

Index Terms. phonotactics, word-picture matching, rating.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Kapatsinski, Vsevolod / Johnston, Lamia Haddad (2010): "Is that a bnik i see? testing phonotactics using word-picture matching", In ExLing-2010, 77-80.