5aSC13. Lexical stress and metrical stress in auditory word recognition.

Session: Friday Morning, June 20

Author: Emily G. Soltano
Location: Dept. of Psych., SUNY, Albany, NY 12222, egs572@cnisbm.albany.edu
Author: Louisa M. Slowiaczek
Location: Dept. of Psych., SUNY, Albany, NY 12222, egs572@cnisbm.albany.edu


Three experiments examined the influence of word stress in spoken word recognition. Experiments 1 and 2 investigated the role of lexical stress on response times in lexical decision and shadowing tasks. Primes and targets shared lexical stress patterns (e.g., BIBlical---JUVenile) or did not (e.g., deFENDed--JUVenile). The results did not support an influence of lexical stress in word recognition. Experiment 3 used a shadowing task, in which metrical stress was manipulated. Metrical stress defines weak syllables as containing schwa and strong syllables as containing all other vowel sounds. Primes and targets shared metrical stress patterns (e.g., resist--cigar) or did not (e.g., hostile--cigar). Targets with strong first syllables were shadowed faster than targets with weak first syllables. Moreover, the type of first syllable (weak or strong) interacted with whether the prime and target had the same metrical stress pattern; responses were faster when the target had a strong first syllable and the prime-target metrical stress patterns matched compared to all other conditions. These data provide converging evidence for the view that metrical stress and not lexical stress influences word recognition. [Work supported by Grant No. NS29286 from NIH.]

ASA 133rd meeting - Penn State, June 1997