4th International Conference on Spoken Language Processing

Philadelphia, PA, USA
October 3-6, 1996

How do Dutch Listeners Process Words with Epenthetic Schwa?

Wilma van Donselaar, Cecile Kuijpers, Anne Cutler

Max-Planck-Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen, The Netherlands

Dutch words with certain final consonant clusters are subject to optional schwa epenthesis. The present research aimed at investigating how Dutch listeners deal with this type of phonological variation. By means of syllable monitoring experiments, it was investigated whether Dutch listeners process words with epenthetic schwa (e.g., ’balluk’) as bisyllabic words or rather as monosyllabic words. Real words (e.g., ’balk’, ’balluk’) and pseudowords (e.g., ’golk’, ’golluk’) were compared, to examine effects of lexical representation. No difference was found between monitoring times for BAL targets in ’balluk’ carriers as compared to ’balk’ carriers. This suggests that words with epenthetic schwa are not processed as bisyllabic words. The effects for the pseudo-words paralleled those for the real words, which suggests that they are not due to lexical representation but rather to the application of phonological rules.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Donselaar, Wilma van / Kuijpers, Cecile / Cutler, Anne (1996): "How do dutch listeners process words with epenthetic schwa?", In ICSLP-1996, 94-97.