1aSC15. ``SLIP-ing'' in phonologically similar neighborhoods.

Session: Monday Morning, December 2


Author: Michael S. Vitevitch
Location: Dept. of Psychol., Park Hall, SUNY, Buffalo, NY 14260-4110


Phonological speech errors are the class of speech errors in which one or more phonemes are added, deleted, substituted, or reversed. Previous work [Dell (1990); Stemberger and MacWhinney (1986)] has found that low-frequency words are more likely to be involved in phonological speech errors than high-frequency ones. If word frequency, influences performance in speech production, do other characteristics of words, such as neighborhood density or neighborhood frequency, influence speech production? The influence of phonologically similar neighborhoods on a type of whole word speech error (malapropisms) has previously been demonstrated [Vitevitch (1996)]. The present research examined the influence of phonologically similar neighborhoods on phonological speech errors. Using the SLIPS technique [Motley and Baars (1976)], phonological speech errors were elicited from participants with real word pairs that varied in their neighborhood characteristics. The results show that low-frequency words ``slipped'' more often than high-frequency ones, replicating past results from error corpora and from other studies using this methodology. Moreover, words with sparse phonologically similar neighborhoods tended to ``slip'' more than words with dense phonologically similar neighborhoods. The implications for these findings on models of speech production, speech perception, and lexical representation are discussed.

ASA 132nd meeting - Hawaii, December 1996