5th European Conference on Speech Communication and Technology

Rhodes, Greece
September 22-25, 1997

The Locus of the Syllable Effect: Prelexical or Lexical?

Christine Meunier (1), Alain Content (1,2), Uli H. Frauenfelder (1), Ruth Kearns (3)

(1) Laboratory of Experimental Psycholinguistics, University of Geneva, Switzerland
(2) Laboratoire de Psychologie Expérimentale, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium
(3) Medical Research Council, Applied Psychology Unit, Cambridge, UK

The claim that the syllable constitutes a basic perceptual unit in French is commonly accepted. It is based in part on the syllable effect [1] obtained with words. The present study extends these syllable detection experiments to pseudowords. Four experiments failed to replicate the syllable effect observed on words. Detection responses in pseudowords are made as soon as sufficient information becomes available in the signal. The different pattern of results obtained with words and pseudowords suggests that the syllable effect is post-lexical rather than pre-lexical.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Meunier, Christine / Content, Alain / Frauenfelder, Uli H. / Kearns, Ruth (1997): "The locus of the syllable effect: prelexical or lexical?", In EUROSPEECH-1997, 2851-2854.