ASA 126th Meeting Denver 1993 October 4-8

5aSP26. Can lexical knowledge inhibit phoneme perception?

Lee H. Wurm Arthur G. Samuel

Dept. of Psychol., State Univ. of New York, Stony Brook, NY 11794

This series of experiments tests a critical prediction of the TRACE model of speech perception [J. L. McClelland and J. L. Elman, Cog. Psychol. 18, 1--86 (1986)]. Experiment 1 was a replication [U. H. Frauenfelder, J. Segui, and T. Dijkstra, JEP:HPP 16, 77--91 (1990)]. Subjects listened to lists of words and non-words, and made speeded detection responses to specified phoneme targets. In accord with the Frauenfelder et al. result, experiment 1 produced no evidence of inhibitory lexical effects on phoneme monitoring reaction times. Experiment 2 improved several design aspects of the Frauenfelder et al. experiment by using balanced target locations, increasing the number of critical stimuli, and using a more appropriate baseline condition against which to measure inhibitory effects. The results of this line of research clarify whether indirect lexical inhibition should be included in models of lexical access.