Do listeners use lexical stress at an early stage in word learning? Artificial-lexicon studies have shown that listeners can learn new spoken words easily. These studies used non-words differing in consonants and/or vowels, but not differing only in stress. If listeners use stress information in word learning, they should be able to learn new words that differ only in stress (e.g., BInulo-biNUlo). We investigated this issue here. When learning new words, Italian listeners relied on segmental information; they did not take stress information into account. Newly-acquired words differing in stress alone are not automatically represented as different word forms.
Bibliographic reference. Sulpizio, Simone / McQueen, James M. (2011): "When two newly-acquired words are one: new words differing in stress alone are not automatically represented differently", In INTERSPEECH-2011, 1385-1388.