Dept. of Modern Languages and Linguistics, Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY 14853
Penn State Univ., University Park, PA 16802
Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY 14853
A series of experiments was conducted to investigate whether subphonemic coarticulatory information affects spoken word recognition. A phonetic priming paradigm was used in which isolated fricatives served as primes for target words beginning with a fricative. In particular, prime fricative segments ([s][sub i] and [s][sub u]), representing [s] excised from the vowels [i] and [u], respectively, were used as primes for the targets [si] and [su]. Acoustically similar prime conditions (prime and target fricatives had similar coarticulatory information) were contrasted to acoustically dissimilar prime conditions (prime and target fricatives had contrasting coarticulatory information). Preliminary results show that there was no difference in identification between targets that were preceded by similar as compared to dissimilar primes. Interestingly, however, target identification was speeded when preceded by an identical prime-target match, that is when the prime and target fricatives were the exact same tokens. Results will be discussed in terms of the role of subphonemic information in word recognition.