Speech Prosody 2006

Dresden, Germany
May 2-5, 2006

Explaining Cross-Linguistic Differences in Effects of Lexical Stress on Spoken-Word Recognition

Anne Cutler, Dennis Pasveer

Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen, The Netherlands

Experiments have revealed differences across languages in listeners’ use of stress information in recognising spoken words. Previous comparisons of the vocabulary of Spanish and English had suggested that the explanation of this asymmetry might lie in the extent to which considering stress in spokenword recognition allows rejection of unwanted competition from words embedded in other words. This hypothesis was tested on the vocabularies of Dutch and German, for which word recognition results resemble those from Spanish more than those from English. The vocabulary statistics likewise revealed that in each language, the reduction of embeddings resulting from taking stress into account is more similar to the reduction achieved in Spanish than in English.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Cutler, Anne / Pasveer, Dennis (2006): "Explaining cross-linguistic differences in effects of lexical stress on spoken-word recognition", In SP-2006, paper 250.