Jul 7 – 15, 2016
SISSA main building
Europe/Rome timezone

Word co-activation and competition and the perception of morphological structure

Jul 13, 2016, 9:00 AM
1h 30m
Meeting room (7th floor) (SISSA main building)

Meeting room (7th floor)

SISSA main building

via Bonomea 265, 34136, Trieste, Italy


Dr Vito Pirrelli (CNR, Pisa)


The cognitive literature on similarity-based principles of word association has greatly contributed to understanding effects of family size and frequency of neighbouring words on a variety of word processing tasks: non-word repetition (Vitevitch et al. 1997; Vitevitch & Luce 1998), recall from verbal short-term memory (Gathercole et al. 1997), phoneme identification (Pitt & McQueen 1998) and word recognition (Luce 1986; Luce & Pisoni 1998). Beyond specific differences depending on the nature of the input stimuli (e.g. acoustic vs. visual) and the processing requirements of the task (e.g. word recognition vs. word production), an interesting general pattern of reversal emerges: neighbours have facilitative effects on spoken word production and inhibitory effects in spoken word recognition. Furthermore, the frequency distribution of neighbours plays an important role in determining whether competition/co-activation effects are facilitative or inhibitory: high-frequency neighbours tend to exert an inhibitory effect on some processing tasks, while low-frequency neighbours facilitating execution of the same tasks. In the talk, we consider what competition-co-activation effects in lexical processing can tell us about the emergence of structure in morphologically complex words, based on evidence from highly inflected languages (Marzi et al. 2016) and English word compounding (Gagné & Spalding (in press); Ferro et al. 2016). References Ferro, Marcello; Marzi, Claudia; Pirrelli, Vito; Gagné, Christina & Spadling, Thomas 2016. One word or two? Discriminative effects of word entrenchment and competition on processing compounds and pseudo-compounds. 17 International Morphology Meeting, 18-21 February 2016, Vienna. Gagné, C.L. & Spalding, T.L. (in press). Effects of morphology and semantic transparency on typing latencies in English compound and pseudo-compound words. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition. Gathercole, Susan E.; Hitch, Graham J.; Service, Elisabet S. & Martin, Amanda J. 1997. Phonological short term memory and new word learning in children. Developmental Psychology 33. 966-979. Luce, Paul A. 1986. A computational analysis of uniqueness points in auditory word recognition. Perception and Psychophysics 39. 155–158. Luce, Paul A. & Pisoni, David B. 1998. Recognizing spoken words: The neighborhood activation model. Ear and hearing 19 (1). 1-36. Marzi, Claudia; Ferro, Marcello; Cardillo, Franco Alberto & Pirrelli Vito 2016. Effects of frequency and regularity in an integrative model of word storage and processing. In Marzi C. and Pirrelli V. (eds.), Italian Journal of Linguistics 28(1). Pitt, Mark A. & McQueen, James M. 1998. Is compensation for coarticulation mediated by the lexicon? Journal of Memory and Language 39(3). 347-370. Vitevitch, Michael S. & Luce, Paul A. 1998. When words compete: Levels of processing in spoken word recognition. Psychological Science 9. 325–329. Vitevitch, Michael S.; Luce, Paul A.; Charles-Luce, Jan & Kemmerer, David 1997. Phonotactics and syllable stress: Implications for the processing of spoken nonsense words. Language and Speech 40. 47–62.

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