Silent and oral sentence reading in Estonian: investigating the effect of phonetic quantity on eye movements

Pärtel Lippus, Kaidi Lõo


This paper studies the processing of prosodic information in silent and oral reading of Estonian. In Estonian, that has a three-way quantity opposition, the long and overlong quantity degrees are not distinguished in orthography. In a frequent morphological word type, genitive vs. partitive forms are marked with quantity alteration, resulting in ambiguous homographs where the correct word form can only be determined from the context. Such words are expected to require more processing compared to those with no quantity alteration and unambiguous orthographic form. An eyetracking experiment was carried out with 24 native Estonian speakers performing a reading task both in silent reading and read-aloud mode. The target words were embedded in the central position of compound sentences, and the placement of the target word context was altered. The results show that the words with quantity alteration required more processing compared to the words with no quantity alteration, when the participants were reading aloud. In the case of silent reading the quantity effect did not appear, but the processing was faster when the context preceded the target word.


 DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-62

Cite as: Lippus, P., Lõo, K. (2020) Silent and oral sentence reading in Estonian: investigating the effect of phonetic quantity on eye movements. Proc. 10th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2020, 304-308, DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-62.


@inproceedings{Lippus2020,
  author={Pärtel Lippus and Kaidi Lõo},
  title={{Silent and oral sentence reading in Estonian: investigating the effect of phonetic quantity on eye movements}},
  year=2020,
  booktitle={Proc. 10th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2020},
  pages={304--308},
  doi={10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-62},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-62}
}